As the world faced life changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, United Through Sports joined forces with over 100 organisations in 2020 to promote inclusion, equality, non-discrimination and peace for and with the youth of the world through the World Virtual Youth Festival.
On the 19 December, the Leaving a Legacy Awards Gala Event opened with a traditional performance of Thailand’s national sport, the martial art muaythai, where the Sport Is Your Gang youth gave an energetic demonstration. A virtual medal parade for the different competitions saw youth of all abilities enter the podium from all 5 continents proudly displaying their well-earnt medals.
UTS President Stephan Fox said, “The event was an overwhelming success and a thanks must go to each and every organisation, the host country, Thailand and above all, the youth of the world who showcased their unique abilities.”
Whilst thousands of youth had the opportunity to shine, technical officials from all participating sports rolled up their sleeves to ensure the implementation of fair-play and judging. Each participating sport, Olympic and non-Olympic, nominated outstanding youth ambassadors who sent out their powerful messages of hope whilst promoting their sport. The winners for outstanding Youth Ambassadors came from all sports.
The finalists for the Aero Fit, Max Fit and Talent competitions took to the virtual podium on the 19 December during the worldwide virtual : Leaving a Legacy Behind Event
The Aero Fit Competitions had the audience on their feet with fabulous performances and the Talent performances began with an inspirational message from the world renowned K-Pop band, The Great Guys inspiring all the talents.
To find out more about the results of the trials leading up to these finals, read “Congratulations to all winners and finalists”.
Congratulations to the IPC Medallists
Hundreds of youngsters from around the world joined the final competition. They needed to film themselves performing an exercise routine of their choice for 60 seconds maximum. Then they needed to spend 45 seconds to the camera explaining their motivation to participate in the challenge and what world leaders need to do to create a more accessible and inclusive future for all people.
The Finals of the IPC Inclusive Sports Challenge really took the world by heart when the top 5 athletes in the Under 12 and Under 18 Categories were announced. The gold medal in the Under 12 division went to Harmonie-Rose Allen from the UK who showed us what inclusion and equality is all about. She is an amazing athlete and we are sure that we will hear much more from her in the future. Silver went to Sid Mathues from Belgium and bronze to Luiz Henrique Santiago from Brazil.
In the Under 18, the gold went to Ana Fabian Gutierreze Silva from Peru who’s energy and “never fold” mentality and her perseverance and motivation to train even harder during these challenging times of the pandemic took the hearts of the judges. Her message to the world leaders included inspiring quotes such as “obstacles exist to make us stronger”, “behind barriers there is always unimaginable success” and “open that window obstructed by indifference for the non-appreciation of people. Together we will find equality through sport.” Silver went to Arian Notretu from Romania and bronze to Mariana Roja Garcias from Mexico.
Education was also part of the UTS World Virtual Youth Festival. Various workshops and panels were set up and below are the links where you can hear world views on how we can encourage a more inclusive world:
- PANEL 1 “INCLUSIVITY, EQUALITY & NON-DISCRIMINATION IN SPORT”
- PANEL 2: “OLYMPIC TRUTH: SPORT TOWARDS PEACE-PROMOTION”
- PANEL 3 “SPORT AS A HUMAN RIGHT, HUMAN RIGHTS IN SPORTS”
- PANEL 4 “MILLENNIALS FOR THE FUTURE”
- PANEL 5 “SAFE-GUARDING YOUTH & PREVENTION OF HARASSMENT & ABUSE”
- PANEL 6 “FAIR PLAY IN SPORT”
- PANEL 7 “ATHLETES UNITED: POWER OF THE ATHLETES”
- PANEL 8 “SPORT LEADERS UNITED”
Leaving a Legacy Behind
The event was about “Leaving a Legacy Behind” and donations were raised towards Right To Play’s “Achieving Change Beyond Borders Project” to improve the quality of early childhood development in the camps along the Thai/Myanmar border.
#strongertogether #SportIsYourGang #RightToPlay