Coaches lend a helping hand

Sept. 17, 2013, 12:34 p.m. (ET)

Sometimes, it takes a village.

As USA Taekwondo sends its 2013 Junior National and Future Stars Teams to Queretaro, Mexico, for the Pan American Championships and Open Sept. 20-22, a group of coaches from across the country have put together a campaign to raise money to outfit the U.S. athletes.

Each year, USA Taekwondo has a set budget to outfit its National Teams. Between January and September of this year, Team USA competed at many world events that included the World Championships, Spanish Open, Argentina Open and others. This left USAT the funds to only outfit the Junior National Team for the three-day competition.

With the 25-member Future Stars Team without uniformed apparel, U.S. coaches decided to act.

A social media campaign on Facebook and Paypal that started last weekend has not only raised enough money to outfit the 2013 Future Stars Team for competition in Mexico, but attention has now turned to the U.S. Poomsae World Championships Team that will compete at Worlds in Bali, Indonesia, Oct. 31-Nov. 3.

USAT CEO Bruce Harris said the effort by the coaches across the country is exemplary.

“What this group of U.S. coaches has done in support of our athletes—many of which are competing internationally for the first time—is something for all of us to take note of,” Harris said. “USAT unfortunately finds itself short of funds at times, especially as the year begins to wind down. This causes us to make some difficult decisions. A group fundraising project like this one truly shows the tenets of taekwondo and the caring nature of our membership. Thank you to our coaches for putting this together and to our membership for being so kind-hearted in their generosity.”

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