During October 18th-27th the World Minigolf Federation held their 16th WMF Minigolf World Championships in Kushan, China.
Nestled close to the Ancient Water Town Zhouzhuang, the WMF Championships, with the support of Invengo Network Industrial Park Co., Ltd worked together to not only develop the sport in the region but also promote social responsibility through the sport of Minigolf.
It was with this vision in mind that UTS was invited by WMF President Gerhard Zimmermann with the support of Christian Wassmer to join forces towards promoting youth development, inclusivity and equality whilst building bridges.
The United Through Sports Conference under the patronage of AIMS was held on the 22nd October 2019 under the themed: United Through Minigolf:Building Bridges and was the first WMF Conference. Attendees included Government officials, leaders from the world of sports, Chinese media, Invengo as well as WMF officials and athletes.
The conference opened with a warm welcome from President Zimmermann who shared the current achievements of WMF including the acknowledgment and recognition of the Chinese Government, this championship was to be the first outside of Europe which was a milestone for the federation. The WMF President shared their mission to promote the sport without age limit, inclusivity for all genders, abilities and for future events to encourage youth development through the sport. Mr Zimmermann was joined by two WMF athletes ___ and ___ who both shared their testimonies to the power of Minigolf and the positive impact the sport has on their lives.
The Director of Kushan Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sports, Media and Tourism spoke about the close collaboration with WMF and the bright prospects for the future of the sport in the region.
Giving a more indepth insight into the WMF social projects, WMF Secretary General Sandra Walker presented the successful Borehole Project, which was inaugurated in 2018 and functions in Ghana, Africa. Minigolfers from around the world showed their support towards funding boreholes to provide sanitary water to the Ghana communities.
Xu Yusuo Chairman of Invengo Information Technology Company Ltd spoke about the power of collaboration and building alliances towards social benefit and Chair of the Medical and Anti-Doping Committee Karolina Jandova gave an informative and detailed presentation outlining the importance of education about the topic. She stated that it is vital this education begins at the Junior level to ensure athletes understand what it means to play true and to understand WADA’s role and tools towards the prevention of doping.
President of the European Minigolf Sport Federation Victor Condeço touched the audience with his heartfelt speech demonstrating the importance of inclusivity for all abilities and showcased the work WMF does towards ensuring Minigolf is a sport for all.
AIMS President and GAISF Vice President Mr Stephan Fox prepared an indepth presentation focusing on the function of the sports pyramid and confirmed the positioning and value of WMF within the AIMS family, where Gerhard Zimmermann is the General Secretary of AIMS.
CEO of UTS Julia Govinden gave a heartfelt and inspiring presentation focusing on the capacity of the sport world towards impacting social change, she stated that building alliances and building bridges is paramount to achieving social change beyond politics and social barriers.
The educative “MiniGolfi” Project was then presented outlining the essence of Minigolf and encourages creativity in using recycled materials to build obstacles with the aim to then get the small ball into the hole using a putter with a few shots as possible. As Sandra Walker stated “In a society ruled by waste, the Mini&Golfi® project will teach the children about the importance of reusing and recycling domestic waste to help preserving our planet. “
“In a society ruled by waste, the Mini&Golfi® project will teach the children about the importance of reusing and recycling domestic waste to help preserving our planet. “. The conference came to a close with an innovative demonstration from a group of youths form the Kushan region who had spent the morning with UTS and the WMF family building obstacles and building new friendships. The demonstration touched the audience as the children all took pride to show their obstacles and attempted as a team to show how sport can unify and encourage growth no matter our differences.
Immediately after the closing of the conference a joint meeting was held between Guochen Yin the Deputy Director General of the Social Sports Center of General Administration for Sport of China, Xudong Fang the Vice Director of Public Fitness activities Department for the General Administration of Sport of China, Hui Li the Vice Mayor of Kushan Mincipal People’s Government and Ynig Shi Chief of Zhouzhuang Township Government as well as the WMF Council led by Mr Zimmermann and AIMS President, GAISF Vice President Stephan fox to discuss future cooperation and events. The meeting showed the credibility WMF has in the AIMS and GAISF family as well as Chinese Government.
UTS joined the WMF Championships and saw the athletes on the field of play showing what sport is all about, building bridges, promoting peace under the Olympic values. Congratulations to World Minigolf Federation for a fantastic event.