ADD2065 2017 Para Taekwondo World Championships

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
16 January 2017
Decision by: 
Amanda Coyle, Assistant Director, Health and Communities

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval to commit a total of £20,000 from the Major Sports Events Fund towards delivery of the 2017 Para Taekwondo World Championships to be staged at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in October 2017.



That the Assistant Director approves expenditure of up to £20,000 in grant funding towards the cost of staging the 2017 Para Taekwondo World Championships.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1     Background

1.1.1    The success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has cemented London’s position as a world-leading host of major sporting events. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has also added significantly to the range of world class sporting facilities available for hosting events in London. A key part of the on-going legacy of London 2012 is ensuring that these facilities and others around London be regularly and fully made use of.

1.1.2    London has already secured a portfolio of additional events that will help sustain our position as a world-leading host and is in keeping with the stated legacy aims from London 2012, one of which is to ensure that the facilities built for the Games continue to be used to stage high-level international sporting events. They include the 2015 Rugby World Cup, 2015 European Hockey Championships, 2015 Formula E Championships, 2016 European Swimming Championships, 2016 Track Cycling World Championships, 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships and IPC World Athletics Championships. 

1.1.3    Recognising that most major sporting events require some level of public support, the GLA allocated £2.4 million over four years to future major sporting events as part of the 2014/15 budget setting process. This Major Sports Events Fund supports the GLA’s major sporting events strategy for London, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’, which was published in April 2014. 

1.1.4    This new London-wide approach to bidding for and supporting major sporting events establishes the Mayor’s Office as the first point of call for anyone looking to bring their event to London, and firmly establishes the Mayor’s Office as London’s strategic lead for major sporting events.

1.2       2017 Para Taekwondo Championships
1.2.1    Approval has already been given through DD1465 and DD2041 for a contribution of £98,000 to be made from the Major Sports Events Fund towards the cost of staging the 2016 British Taekwondo Championships and the 2017 World Taekwondo Grand Prix at the Copper Box at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

1.2.2    GB Taekwondo has subsequently applied to the GLA Major Sports Events Fund for a £20,000 contribution towards delivery of the 2017 Para Taekwondo World Championships, to be held at the Copper Box Arena in October 2017 alongside the World Grand Prix event.

1.2.3    The WTF Para Taekwondo World Championships is the pinnacle of the annual taekwondo calendar for disabled participants. The first World Championships were held in 2009, with the number of competitors, represented nations and competition categories increasing year on year. The event has achieved greater profile following the sport’s recognition by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in 2013 and Para Taekwondo will make its Paralympic Games debut in Tokyo in 2020. 

1.2.4    London has built a strong reputation for supporting disability sport events in recent years, enhancing London’s reputation as a global leader for hosting major sports events and their disability disciplines simultaneously (London is the first city to host: the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge/Rugby World Cup; the Wheelchair Tennis Masters/ATP World Tour Finals; the IPC World Athletic Championships/IAAF World Championships. London also hosted the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014).

1.2.5    Having hosted the National Championships in London in September 2016,  the 2017 World Taekwondo Grand Prix will be delivered in a tried and tested format, and will be the ideal opportunity to promote and showcase Para Taekwondo alongside it to bolster London’s reputation and bring wider social/community benefits to the Grand Prix event. 

1.2.6    The GLA Events Steering Group (GESG) approved this proposal following its meeting of 12 October 2016.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1          The objectives of the proposed funding are to:

•    Support the successful hosting of the 2017 Para Taekwondo World Championships;
•    Support delivery of the GLA’s major sports events strategy, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’;
•    Increase economic investment into London;
•    Increase international exposure of London;
•    Increase opportunities for Londoners to participate in sport and physical exercise programmes associated with major sporting events;
•    Increase opportunities for Londoners to volunteer at a major sporting event.

Equality comments

3.1.    Every major event that seeks financial support from the GLA must demonstrate how the event will engage with the local community, in line with the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme.

3.2    An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the overall Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme.

3.3    According to Sport England Active People survey (APS 8 published in January 2015), levels of participation in sport and physical activity are variable across different socio-demographic groups in London. Across all 33 London Boroughs, average figures indicate that 43% of men participate in sport at least once a week compared to 32% of women. 37% of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people participate weekly compared to 39% of people of white origin. 19% of disabled people participate weekly compared to 40% of non-disabled people. 17% of people over the age of 65 participate weekly compared to 52% of those between the age of 16 and 25. 41% of people from socio-economic groups 1 to 4 participate weekly compared to 25% of people from socio-economic groups 5-8 (based on the National Statistics Socio-economic classification system).

3.4    Sports programmes supported by the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme engage significant numbers of women, disabled people, BAME people and people from lower socio-economic groups, both via sports participation programmes and training opportunities. We are seeking to increase participation opportunities for these groups through the Major Sports Events Engagement Fund that this event has also bid to.

3.5    The Sports Team has been working with British Taekwondo and Sport England to develop the community engagement project associated with the 2017 Taekwondo Grand Prix event. A sum of £25,000 has been committed and we are working with British Taekwondo to expand upon the community project’s existing disability strand.

Other considerations

4.1     Key Risks and Issues



Likelihood / Impact

Response & Mitigation


That the event does not deliver against London’s key strategic objectives

Medium / Low

The evaluation process undertaken in order to determine city support for events is robust and thorough.


Assumptions made in Taekwondo GB’s proposal were tested and challenged by the GLA and partners prior to deciding to offer financial support in order to ensure confidence that the event is likely to deliver on its claims.


The GLA will be represented on the event steering group to oversee operational delivery.


Another funding partner withdraws support, or projected commercial income is not realised, putting the event at risk, and thereby exposing the Mayor/GLA to reputational risk.

Low / Low

Prior to committing GLA funding, a comprehensive and robust event budget with evidence of commitment from a range of public and private sector partners was submitted, thereby ensuring that the risk is spread.


UK Sport is standing strongly behind the event, and there is a shared underwrite in place between UK Sport and Taekwondo GB.


Reputational risk of the event failing to sell all tickets and broadcasting pictures of the venue internationally with empty seats.

Medium / Medium

Whilst there is no track record of attracting crowds to watch taekwondo in London outside of the Olympic Games, we will work to capitalise on the increased profile of taekwondo directly after an Olympic Games, to drive interest in the 2016 British Championships, helping ensure that by 2017, the fan base is strong enough to sustain a Para Taekwondo World Championship event.


4.2     Links to Mayoral Strategies & Priorities

GLA support for the event will:
•    support delivery of the Mayor’s major sports events strategy, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’;
•    support the aims of ‘Inclusive and Active 2’ strategy for increasing participation in sport and physical activity amongst disabled people in London; 
•    support delivery of the Mayor’s grassroots sport policy, ‘A Sporting Future for London’;
•    assist in meeting the objectives of the Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy; 
•    promote social development in London;
•    assist the Mayor in delivering his commitment to a lasting sports legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
•    support the Mayor’s priorities around volunteering and his Team London programme.

4.3     Impact Assessments and Consultations

4.3.1     An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the overall Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme. Further information is available at Section 3 of this document.

4.3.2     In writing ‘A Sporting Future for London’, the GLA Sports Unit consulted extensively with over 400 individuals from over 100 different groups and organisations including national governing bodies of sport, the Pro-Active Partnerships, senior representatives from local authorities and a wide variety of sports clubs and community organisations. 

4.3.3     The conclusions reached received broad support from all key stakeholders and reaction to the plan itself has been very positive.

4.3.4    In writing ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’, the GLA Sports Unit consulted extensively with various national governing bodies of sport in the UK, Sport England, UK Sport, London Sport, relevant Local Authorities, LLDC, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, London & Partners, sports venue owners in London and Transport for London. The strategy has been greatly welcomed by all key London stakeholders and partners, as well as the key national agencies identified above.

Financial comments

5.1    The total cost of £20,000 will be funded from the Major Sports Events Fund held within the Health & Communities Unit. 

5.2    Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authorities decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

5.3    The Sports Unit within Communities & Intelligence Directorate will be responsible for managing the GLA’s activities relating to this proposal and ensuring that all the GLA’s expenditure complies with the Authority’s Financial Regulations and Contracts & Funding Code.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

6.1    The GLA Sports Team is working closely with GB Taekwondo and other stakeholders to ensure effective planning for the event. 

6.2    The GLA is represented on the event stakeholder board which oversees:

•    The event budget; 
•    The event marketing and communications strategy; 
•    The event ticketing strategy 
•    Planning and operational delivery of the event; 

6.3    Next steps are as follows:



ADD Signed

December 2016

Funding Agreement Executed

January 2017

Event Stakeholder Board Established

March 2017

Event held

October 2017


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