A new year has begun and although the challenges of 2020 are not yet over, it was a year of unique experiences and learning processes. We were reminded that together we can find answers and solutions to keep moving forward.
Our solidarity and positive reaction to the challenges we have faced has brought us closer together and stronger than ever. 2021 has begun with the planet being far more interconnected as we try to overcome adversity. The online world has seen borders vanish as we all witnessed with the first ever UTS World Virtual Youth Festival 2020. Innovation now has a place to thrive and it is our responsibility to nurture and encourage better as our children look to us for support.
How have we responded to the COVID pandemic? What have we learnt?
Many people around the world have struggled to cope for so many reasons and are still struggling with the complexity of keeping active and engaged in sports. A consequence of restrictions for sport and training as well as isolation waves has affected mental health, and this is one of the reasons why the festival was such a success. With all that we have discovered, analysed and learnt, it will be an exciting chapter for the next festival 2021.
The pandemic evoked new ways of working, collaborating and we built resilience with each step. Throughout last year, we have been greatly inspired by the youth who participated in the festival through their passion, dedication and performances which have given fuel to our fire.
This year we must try our best to put a halt to environmental pollution, we must find sustainable longevity in our actions. For the time being, UTS will stay online and will stay active as ever. The all-inclusive virtual world ensures that no one Is left behind and UTS will continue to ensure youth of all abilities will have access to our events.
Medals and Certificates are being sent out to all competition winners and certainly every youth who took part in the festival will soon receive a certificate signed by the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, Special Olympics, GAISF and UTS.
Please bear with us, in such extraordinary times postage will take longer than is customary.
However, in the meantime, we are excited to show you the medals and certificates coming your way!
This new year calls for a year of collective social action and this must start with being open, with reflection of 2020 and with a united stance to build resilience and flexibility within ourselves, our organisations and beyond.