“Cooperation is always more powerful than competition, and in union there is strength.”– UTS President Stephan Fox
As we mark the 50-day countdown to the UTS World Virtual Youth Festival 2020, youth around the world are now being activated and invited to participate in the festival competitions. Over 60 international sport affiliated organisations have joined towards celebrating the youth and giving them opportunities regardless to their abilities.
Real change occurs with the unity of many sharing in a united vision and mission. This festival has brought together strong partnerships who have granted their patronage to this unique youth centred event.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Special Olympics (SOI), SportAccord and GAISF have joined forces with UTS towards the united call to action for greater inclusion not only towards international sporting events, but towards greater social inclusion.
We all live in difficult circumstances including the world of sport, which faces unique challenges being unable to host sport events.
IOC President, Thomas Bach said: “The Corona virus has proven that sport and active lifestyle can save lives.” The IOC has been working since the beginning of this global pandemic to demonstrate how more than ever physical exercise and sport is vital to physical and mental health.
IPC President, Andrew Parsons said: “Never has sport and the need to remain active been as important as it is now during the global COVID-19 pandemic due to the physical and mental health benefits it brings. The IPC through its patronage fully supports this innovative festival that will engage youngsters of all abilities around the world.”
CEO of Special Olympics, Mary Davis said: “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Special Olympics halted all training and competitions for 2020. It is important for our athletes to remain active, supported and certainly included.”
GAISF and SportAccord President, Raffaele Chiulli said: “Now is the time for the international sports community to lead by example and to inspire young people.”
The initiative of UTS goes back to 2017 and where in 2018 the first sports festival was held in conjunction with SportAccord with the second following on the Gold Coast in 2019. For both previous festival editions the IOC granted patronage towards the events supporting the mission to give youth access to sport and education.
Like all other sport related events, SportAccord 2020 was unfortunately cancelled due to the corona virus pandemic which led to the birth of the virtual festival as a solution towards the future. Most importantly, the festival will bring the youth of the world back together towards a brighter future.
The UTS festival is a united mission for the youth of the world to get active, be inspired and to ensure inclusion of everybody.It is a festival that will bring smiles especially for youth who have lost their smile. It is an opportunity for all participating organisations to bring back smiles together.