The fifth edition of the UTS World Youth Festival is taking place from 14-20 November 2022 in Bangkok. After a huge success last year in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the festival is now in the Kingdom of Thailand and will be held on the grounds of the prestigious Srinakharinwirot University. The World Youth Festival is under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee, Paralympic Committee, Special Olympics, SportAccord, GAISF, and AIMS.
More than ever, sports must contribute with a united effort towards a better tomorrow. United Through Sports promotes inclusion, non-discrimination, equality, and peace-promotion for and with the youth of the world.
After the success of the 2021 edition in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this year’s edition will be in conjunction with APEC and GEW where selected young leaders of the world come together to unite and work together towards a better future. Over 400 young leaders have been chosen to take part in the festival, joined by sporting youth across the 5 continents to collaborate in cultural and sporting exchange, making a call to action towards a better and more inclusive tomorrow.
The event which is once again under the patronage of the IOC, IPC, SOI, SportAccord, and GAISF brings over 140 international and national sports federations as well as Olympic cities, NGOs, and organizations uniting for one common goal, to place youth of all abilities at the center, right where they belong.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The International Olympic Committee is once again supportive of the United Through Sports World Youth Festival. This important initiative brings together over 100 international organizations to promote tolerance, equality, and non-discrimination. To all the participating world youth ambassadors: Through your participation, you are contributing through sport to a better and more peaceful world. You are never too young to change the world.” The event has already begun with 5 virtual competitions to give youth of all abilities and social backgrounds around the world the opportunity to share their unique talents and get active no matter where they are. The festival week includes an education program with conferences, plenary sessions, and workshops led by organizations including UNESCO, Yunus Sports Hub, IOC Young Leaders, WADA, ITA, Mission 89, and One Young World amongst others.
With closer partnerships and collaborations, IPC President Andrew Parsons said: “The IPC is proud to have given patronage to the UTS Youth Festival for a third successive year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we encourage youngsters to participate in sports, not just to live active and healthy lifestyles but to learn so many important life skills. The UTS Youth Festival has a strong track record for engaging youngsters all around the world and discovering new stars, such as one of the last year’s participants Harmonie Rose-Allen. We look forward to unearthing new talent this year.”
The week will end in conjunction with World Children’s Day and the Bangkok Urban Youth Tournament, 19-20 November which invites vulnerable, migrant, and refugee youths to take part in sports and offers an opportunity to be inspired towards their future.
Once again, with the support and contribution of the Special Olympics, CEO Mary Davis said: “We applaud the efforts of United Through Sports to continue to increase the impact of the World Youth Festival while raising the platform for inclusive sport as a catalyst for positive societal change.”
The sports festival at the Srinakharinwirot University will include 7 zones: Urban Zone, Virtual Esport, Combat Zone, Winter Zone, Sport for All Zone, Main stage, and Center Court. The festival will invite all universities and colleges from the city to join in the festival activities and events.
President of GAISF and SportAccord, Ivo Ferriani stated: “The GAISF and SportAccord family once again are proud to not only grant patronage but to actively support this sports festival. With the event parallel to APEC 2022, it is a great opportunity for youth of all abilities and from the migrant and refugee communities to stand together and come together as one voice. Sporting youth from across the globe will represent the world sporting movement and play an important role in promoting actively the development of a healthier and peaceful society.”
As the event draws closer UTS President Stephan Fox stated: “The strength of each event is the team and we are honored to have not only the support but active involvement of so many inspiring organizations led by the IOC, IPC, SOI as well as many more from the international sport community. We thank each and every one contributing above and beyond to make this event a fantastic opportunity for youth around the world. A special thank you must go to the Kingdom of Thailand for being the host of this now hybrid festival and we look forward to welcoming over 400 youth from around the world representing these organizations in person and the thousands who will be joining us virtually. The youth is our future and we’re happy to place the youth at the center and give them a place to flourish.”