The sport of ITF Taekwon-Do has so much going for it. Those taking part in the sport should be proud of both themselves and everyone involved. There are great tenets to adhere to and great camaraderie as well.
The question I always get asked is “why aren’t we featured in the media more?” But in reality the question should be “how can we help ourselves first?”
Taekwon-Do tends to teach humbleness….which is great, but how will people ever know about the sport if no one wants to talk about it with pride and encouragement? This doesn’t mean bragging, but being confident in saying how well you have done, what you’ve achieved and what Taekwon-Do has taught you in life that is essential.
There are a few basics which should help the sport, such as how is the ITF/ITK version of the sport spelt. It’s Taekwon-Do and if talking to the media or friends this should be pointed out. The first part of pride or promotion is to know who you are….as a person and as a sport.
Take an interest in what you’ve done, where it was, who the instructor/s were, how many people were involved….the how, what, where and why are good questions to ask yourself.
Being proud of the sport and being happy to talk about it is what gets coverage, gains more club members, gains more expertise in coaching, and gains sponsorship.
You don’t have to be a top high-performance athlete to be positive about what you do in the sport; being positive and enthusiastic is simple and easy to do.
There are some great stories around Taekwon-Do which aren’t being spoken of, or heard. Why not tell them. You may not think of them as amazing, however many others in the public will be fascinated and possibly inspired.
The media climate is always changing and yes, there are ways of gaining coverage – however, flexibility is the key. The old fashioned ways of being seen in print in a daily paper or on the 6pm TV sports news are relatively uncommon, or certainly less likely for a sport such as Taekwon-Do, which by the way is not a ‘minor sport’. No sport is a minor sport, they are all just different.
In addition to the mainstream media, there are outlets catering to kids, Maori, Pacific Island, Asian, female sports (localised in some areas), and ‘fight’ sports. All want something different if it is put to them. They can only say “no”.
Social media outlets can be great, however opening up an account to the public can be fraught if ‘trolls’ to take over. Social media works well, but always take a second thought before you activate a post and think of things such as…What would happen if my Grandmother or parents saw this post?
In summary, don’t hold back and say, why not us? Think of stories which interest you from other sports and how they interest you. Media won’t be so keen on covering Taekwon-Do if they feel that everyone is too bashful, comes across in a negative way, or won’t give many details.
Be open, proud and happy to talk about Taekwon-Do.
Dave is a long-standing sports media manager who has an understanding of Taekwon-Do having been around the sport for a long time. Dave can be heard of various radio stations and TV. He’s covered one Olympics, two Paralympics, two Commonwealth Games and over 40 tennis Grand Slams.