HUGE UTS WORKSHOP SUCCESS

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Testing Agency (ITA), Yunus Sports Hub (YSH) and the IOC Young Leaders (IOC YLs) all hosted highly successful workshops during the United Through Sports World Virtual Youth Festival’s 2020 education programme.

During the 18th  and 19th November last year, three workshops took place as a part of the world’s first ever virtual youth festival. Across all three workshops, the top countries in attendance included: India, Philippines, Lebanon, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, USA, Pakistan and certainly our hosts, the kingdom of Thailand.

Becoming a successful change leader in your community through sport was held as a joint collaboration of the Yunus Sports Hub under the leadership of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mohammad Yunus and the IOC Young Leaders Programme.

Jean-Claude Rugigana, María Renée Rodríguez, Rohith Maradapa and Geewon Yoo are all selected IOC YLs programme which officially launched in 2016. The programme empowers young talent to leverage the power of sport to make positive impacts within their communities.

These exceptional future leaders were excellent presenters who each shared their own unique journeys and projects to an audience of 1922 workshop attendees.

WADA and ITA joined forces to deliver a fantastic athlete-oriented workshop focusing on Clean Sport and inviting anti-doping officials. The workshop was attended by 2200 attendees from around the world, both athletes and non-athletes.

The WADA Vice-President Yang Yang, also known as China’s first-ever Winter Olympic gold medallist emphasized the importance of honesty “If you can be honest with yourself, you can improve yourself.” The workshop was joined by ITA Education Manager Olya Abasolo, WADA Education Coordinator Ariadna Camargo and Eva Erfle, a WADA education consultant.

The importance of honesty in sport holding a zero-tolerance policy towards doping was emphasised. Focus was also placed on educating athletes to know and familiarise oneself with the anti-doping rule and regulations, being responsible and athletes’ rights.

Through the growing partnership with the IPC and ever-dedicated support from President Andrew Parsons, UTS collaborate with the impactful I’mPOSSIBLE program to deliver a truly unique, interactive and well-received workshop that focused on the program and the Paralympic Movement.

Captivated and excited audience of 2002 attendees were able to share their views with three-time Paralympic medallist Brad Scott of Australia, British Paralympic skier Anna Turney and Kaitlyn Schäfer, membership programmes manager at the IPC. With a focus on inclusion and accessibility, Scott and Turney gave thousands of attendees around the world much to contemplate and certainly spread greater awareness towards the IPC vision and mission. 

UTS President Stephan Fox summarized the success of the workshops and said: “These vital workshops set the ground for the festival and the sheer levels of participation went far beyond expectation, showing a need for such cooperation and this lies at the heart of UTS to keep connected and build together towards the future. The cooperation of the organizations and their representatives, the International Federations, National Olympic committees and kingdom of Thailand have brought together youth of all abilities and sports with a common vision to stand for and with the youth. I personally was amazed by the interactions and the next edition will certainly be exciting.”