In an often divided world, sport is an important connection that unites people across and within societies promoting unity in diversity. There are countless examples of the unifying strength of sport. The Olympic value focuses on friendship, respect and excellence combined with the paralympic values of determination, inspiration, courage and equality. The objective of the Olympic movement is to contribute in building a more peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport and practise without discrimination of any kind. Pierre de Coubertin founder of the modern Olympic movement believed that sport contributed to the harmonious and well-balanced development of the body, personality and the mind. The interaction between sport, education and culture is encouraged by the Olympic movement to promote Olympism, Olympic ideals, reinforce cooperation with educational bodies and with projects focused on the youth.
Alliances are crucial, and this is what was established at the 2018 SportAccord Convention in Bangkok with the formation of United Through Sports (UTS) and the many supporters. The IOC, AIMS, GAISF, RTP, UNESCO, UN Women, Generation for Peace, Peace and Sport, WADA and Royal Thai Government were amongst those endorsing the initiative. One of the key persons behind UTS is GAISF Vice President and AIMS President Mr Stephan Fox. The inauguration of the Bangkok Sports Festival and the legacy it left behind for Thailand, particularly for the ones in need is ongoing. Such that when the convention ended, there was the establishment of many projects and sport facilities have been constructed for youth from challenged backgrounds.
This Sunday 10th March will see a continuation of the legacy with alliances inspired by the festival where organisations including UTS, RTP, IFMA and others have joined together with the support of Xtreme Sport to kick off a 5 month multi-sport and friendship event, the Bangkok Urban Youth Tournament. The event will host futsal, 3X3 basketball, traditional muaythai, sepak takraw and badminton in a tournament format of mixed teams coming from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Thailand’s IOC member and President of the Thailand Badminton Association Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul will be patron of the event. Khunying has personally contributed to the UTS social fundraising campaign and stated that “This initiative is inspiring with over 80 teams participating. As an IOC member and being Thai, I am proud this event reflects the Olympic values.” GAISF Vice President Mr Fox reflected “We must continue to work together for our youth, every child should have an opportunity to play in whatever form possible. This will be achieved at this event and giving these children a playground in a safe surrounding showcase what can be achieved if we work as one.”