USA Taekwondo Launches Recognition and Reward Programs

April 26, 2018, 12:38 p.m. (ET)

Beginning at the 2018 National Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah the Olympic NGB will name the very first All-American Taekwondo Athletes. In addition it is also launching the ‘Returning National Champion’ program. These initiatives will identify the best of the best to receive the recognition AND reward that they have earned through outstanding achievements.

The first All-American Taekwondo Athletes named will be the black belt gold medalists at the National Championships in Salt Lake (in Poomsae, sparring and para), then, following publication of the U.S. National Rankings sponsored by Tusah post-Nationals they will be joined as All-Americans by the top 10% of athletes in each black belt weight division. 

These awards will be available in all world class black belt cadet, junior and senior divisions.

In addition to the All-American Athlete benefits listed below, Returning National Champions will also receive FREE registration to the 2019 National Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota where they will be guests of honor and fight again to repeat the feat!

Benefits for All-American Athletes who qualify through the National Rankings sponsored by Tusah, will include, but are not limited too:

  • Exclusive access to All-American and/or Talent ID Development camps FREE of charge for the number one athlete in each division
  • Discounted access to camps for all other All-American Athletes
  • A Letter and Certification of Achievement (including the Olympic Rings) to mark the achievement, signed by Olympian and USA Taekwondo Director of High Performance Mayumi Spence - this can be used for school applications or just framed and displayed in your home.
  • A free All-American Athlete t-shirt that is exclusive to you
  • Bios and Interviews on the Team USA website
  • Your name highlighted in our soon to be launched Rankings app
  • Opportunity to purchase additional All-American Athlete and USATKD merchandise, not available for sale to anyone else
  • Discounts in the new USATKD Online Store (launching soon)

Over the course of the year, and if the athlete takes up all of the opportunities given to them, that amounts to a potential value of over $500 per athlete in benefits, and even much more in some cases, all for being the best at what you do!

To qualify to be a USA Taekwondo All-American Athlete you must:

  • Be a current USA Taekwondo member, in good standing
  • Have attended the 2018 National Championships in Salt Lake City
  • Do something AMAZING by either winning at Nationals or being one of the top ten percent of points earners in your division - or both!

USA Taekwondo Executive Director Steve McNally said: “We should never be guilty of under-celebrating our great athletes and National Champions, and these programs will ensure that they get the acclaim they have undoubtedly earned. Becoming a USA Taekwondo National Champion and All-American is a true lifetime achievement, and it should be proudly and loudly shouted about. USA Taekwondo pledges to make sure these outstanding athletes are lauded and rewarded, starting this July, and we hope you will all fight even harder with All-American AND National Champion status on the line!

High Performance Director Mayumi Spence said: “As we shift dramatically towards creating our own future through Talent ID and NGB involvement in athlete development at a much earlier point in the process, programs such as these are essential to retaining athletes to give them time and opportunity to grow. By recognizing and rewarding achievement throughout the pipeline in terms of development and age - not just those who are already at the senior elite level, as our cadets and juniors are perhaps even more important to our plans - we provide incentives and motivation for each and every athlete to stay with it and become the best that they can be. That can only be of great benefit to the U.S. and our goal to become the best taekwondo nation again.”

In conjunction with this program, at the end of each year we will also be announcing Male & Female All-American Athletes of the Year in Cadet, Junior and Senior categories, naming a Male and a Female All-American Coach of the Year and 8 regional All-American Clubs of the Year.

We’ll be announcing further details shortly on how we will be making those selections – including for school age All-American athletes, academic grades; and for coaches, how many All-American athletes are you producing - along with information on non-world class athlete recognition programs and last but definitely not least, a new U.S. Referee Recognition program.

We are working hard to transform your NGB and the sport of taekwondo in the U.S., and we greatly appreciate your support in helping us reach these ambitious goals.