February 24 - Sports Taekwondo Australia (STA) and Taekwondo Australia Ltd (TA) insist they are still on course to merge next month despite unforseen delays.
The two parties expect to finalise a variation to the heads of agreement originally signed last November, which will resolve some of the current issues and provide an agreed way forward to a merged national body, TA said in a statement.
The model proposed is consistent with the target of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) to have a single body represent each sport in the country.
The merged organisation will have a new Board with equal representation appointed from both STA and TA with an independent chairperson.
"The ASC and World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) will continue to provide support to STA and TA to ensure all athletes will continue to have access to WTF-sanctioned and international open events through the transition period until the merger comes into effect," said TA in the statement.
"It is expected the merged body will be in full operation by the end of March 2014, with the nominated directors of both bodies meeting jointly on a regular basis until this time.
"In the interim STA and TA encourage all state organisations to begin (or resume) discussions with their state counterparts about their own mergers.
"A working group consisting of representatives from STA, TA and the ASC has been formed to coordinate WTF, National and State events, seminars and workshops."
The two bodies insist that athletes, like world under 62 kilogram champion Carmen Marton, will not suffer any problems competing internationally because of the delay.
"Arrangements have already been made to ensure all athletes who have qualified for the World Youth Championships will be eligible to compete as members of the Australian team," TA said in its statement.
"Similarly, arrangement have been made so all athletes wishing to attend the US Open will be eligible to compete.
"STA has facilitated Global Athlete Licence access for these athletes pursuant to an agreement with the ASC.
"In regard to the nomination process for the [Summer] Youth Olympic Games [in Nanjing], this will be overseen by both parties and the Australian Institute of Sport and submitted to the Australian Olympic Committee."
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