World Virtual Youth Festival supported by over 100 international organisations

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Bangkok, Thailand –  Over 100 international federations and organizations have come together united to showcase and promote inclusion, equality, non-discrimination and peace. Together they support the United Through Sports (UTS) World Virtual Youth Festival 2020 which is organized by United Through Sports.

Amongst the organisations are the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Special Olympics International (SOI) who have all granted patronage to the event.

The UTS World Virtual Youth Festival 2020 is a celebration for and with the youth of the world. There will be five festival competitions:  Max Fit, Aero Fit, Talent, IPC Inclusive Sports Challenge and Special Olympics Unified Fitness Challenge.

IOC President, Thomas Bach said in a video message: “The IOC is excited that the UTS World Virtual Festival is inviting youth of all abilities and backgrounds from the International sports community and organizations using sport as a tool for a better world.”

The IOC not only gave patronage to the event but is playing a very active role in the delivery of this innovative event. The Olympic Channel will be airing the Opening Ceremony and there could be no better day as November 20, United Nations World Children’s Day. The Closing Ceremony will also be aired on the 22 November. All festival events and information can be found on the UTS website.

Hundreds of applications from across all regions in the world were received for the IPC ‘Inclusive Sports’ Challenge in both the under-12 and under-18 categories during the two-week long application period. Youngsters were asked to film themselves performing an exercise routine of their choice for 60 seconds maximum. Then they needed to spend 45 seconds speaking to the camera explaining their motivation to participate in the challenge, and what world leaders should do to create a more accessible and inclusive future for all people.

A panel of seven judges made up of Para athletes, Paralympic leaders and disability advocates reviewed all entries and voted on the winners, who will be announced during the Festival on 22 November.

The IPC will also be live streaming the Festival through its YouTube Channel, website Paralympic.org and Facebook page @Paralympics

IPC President Andrew Parsons said: “These challenging times have shown us the unifying power of sport. It is what connected the IPC, IOC, Special Olympics and so many of other international federations for a historic first time, to all use our unique platforms to engage with youngsters of all abilities across the globe.”

“The IPC is honoured to have been involved in the UTS World Virtual Youth Festival, and have leaders such as IOC President Thomas Bach and Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis invest in our future generation of leaders.”

Special Olympics is participating in all aspects of the festival, including a new innovative fitness competition model that will be launched during the event. The concept for the competition places individuals and teams into varying ability categories based on who demonstrates the most personal improvement across three fitness tests rather than using the traditional best score approach.

Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics said: “Special Olympics is honored to have our athletes participating side by side with fellow athletes from the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, at the United Through Sports World Virtual Youth Festival for the first time. Youth are the future of all our sporting movements, and especially during the pandemic, it has been vital that we are there to support them and continue to provide them with opportunities to stay active and engaged. I am excited to see youth of all abilities from around the world come together on the same ‘virtual field of play’ and look forward to a future of collaborative inclusive sport opportunities with the international sport community thanks to this inaugural event initiated by United Through Sports.”

President of the NOCT General Prawit Wongsuwan said: “Thailand is proud to be the host of this event, where history is being made. This is the first event in Thailand where the IOC IPC and SOI have granted patronage. Youth of all abilities are coming together under one umbrella.”

UTS President, Stephan Fox said: “We would like to thank all organisations for their support and for the patronage granted by the IOC, IPC, SOI. We would like to also give extend our gratitude to the AIMS Family (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport), GAISF (Global Association of International Sports Federations) and SportAccord. President Fox explained that the 5-day event will see an Opening Ceremony hosted by the youth, from Bangkok and cities around the world participating in a lively performance. A 5-day Educational Program with speakers from many organisations, will focus on current sport and world topics.

For further information about the UTS World Virtual Youth Festival 2020, please click here and follow #ONESPIRITONEHEART on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and YouTube.

EDITOR’S NOTES

United Through Sports World Virtual Youth Festival

The United Through Sports Festival takes place as a part of the SportAccord annual convention and invites the public, youth, Ministries, International and National Federations, NGOs and Sport affiliated organisations to engage and promote a healthy and active lifestyle. The Virtual Youth Festival was created as a solution to encourage a healthy, inclusive and educational approach to keeping connected and united. This edition is the first Virtual Youth Festival and will be held every year in a different city, inviting the international sport community to celebrate the youth.

About the International Paralympic Committee

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. Its vision is to make for an inclusive society through Para sport.

Founded on 22 September 1989, the IPC is an international non-profit organisation with more than 200 members made up of National Paralympic Committees, International Federations, Regional Organisations and International Organisations of Sport for the Disabled. The IPC Headquarters and its management team are located in Bonn, Germany.

For further information, please visit our pages on FacebookTwitterInstagramTikTok and YouTube. Alternatively, visit Paralympic.org

About Special Olympics

Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year. Engage with us on: TwitterFacebookYouTubeInstagramLinkedIn and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.

Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year. Engage with us on: TwitterFacebookYouTubeInstagramLinkedIn and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.