United through sports (UTS) launches the International Virtual Youth Festival 2020. AIBA will take part in it with youth athletes participating; the organization is looking for brave and courageous boxers who desires to show yourself at the innovative format of competitions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given life to the UTS Virtual Youth Festival, which goes far beyond a temporary solution to the cancellation of sports events. It is a positive opportunity to move forward and bring us all back together. The unique Virtual Youth Festival will be held and broadcast online.
This pandemic has affected each and everyone including the world of sport. We all understand the difficult circumstances and the unique challenges we face. Now more than ever, we must stand in solidarity and unity promoting sports values. Now is the time to transform crisis into a nurturing opportunity, promoting health and safety with a united mission for the youth of the world. We must cultivate our communities to continue to be active, inspired, and to be included.
We have seen many inspiring initiatives as organizations pivot and adapt, navigating the current unpredictable landscape. In 2017, the United Through Sports initiative was born to create and contribute towards a better world, with and for our youth. The UTS Virtual Youth Festival is a celebration of our youth who will carry the torch of life for the next generations, and on this platform everybody is equal.
The festival will include youths not only from participating International Federations, but also those with different abilities mental and physical, youths from migrant and refugee backgrounds, youth from the indigenous community, and those from vulnerable backgrounds who are often marginalized by society. United, we shall create the opportunity and give these youth autonomy and hope.
Over 60 organizations have joined forces to unite on the digital platform where qualification events will take place between August and the end of October. The finals will be hosted in Thailand and held as a hybrid event around the world in celebration of the United Nations’ World Children’s day, on November 20-22.
The festival will include virtual medal ceremonies, inspirational opening and closing ceremonies, and will incorporate a vital platform of education by including webinars, an opening conference, panel discussions, and workshops.
Topics of focus will include:
- Peace through sport;
- Inclusion and non-discrimination;
- Athletes’ roles and responsibilities;
- Safeguarding and child protection among others.
Over 100 youth ambassadors, together with the leaders of sport and all participating entities will make a unified call to action towards a better tomorrow.
With the finals being held on United Nations’ World Children’s Day, the former 8th UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon said:
‘We all face challenges amidst the pandemic global shift. Now is the time we must think forward and we must take action towards empowering our youth towards the future. This UTS Virtual Youth Festival is a unique opportunity for the youth of all abilities to unite through the digital ecosystem in friendship, sports, health, and education. United, we must stand for youth rights ensuring equality and the inclusion of all youth. This Festival will open many new doors of opportunity for us to reach youth all over the world. Let us reach them together.’
GAISF and SportAccord President Raffaele Chiulli said:
‘GAISF and SportAccord families are proud to play an active role in the innovative United Though Sports Virtual Youth Festival 2020. The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought so many challenges, but now is the time for the international sports community to lead by example and inspire young people and their families around the world to get active. As one voice for all sport, the virtual youth festival will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase and celebrate the fundamental values of equality, diversity, and inclusion.’
‘During such unprecedented and challenging times, we must continue to create opportunities, putting the youth of the world at center stage,’ stated UTS President Stephan Fox. ‘We must also understand that for many vulnerable youths, once the pandemic ends, they will continue to live in lockdown and in challenging environments. We want to create an event that is active and educational for all our youth and regardless of who is up on the podium, the closing ceremony will see the youth of the world come together for one global celebration.’