GWANGJU – After receiving the Universiade flag at the closing of the 2013 Kazan Universiade, Gwangju has officially started its countdown as the next host city. Gwangju Universiade is putting its efforts to host a successful and exemplary competition by forming a joint Korean team at the games, as well as creating a surplus event by attracting national and international sponsors, preparing basic infrastructures such as competition venues, and organizing friendly and organized volunteers.
The organizing committee will be putting its collective effort in the formation of a joint Korean team for the first time in the history of multi-sporting events, in line with the peace concept, one of the four EPIC concepts that Gwangju Universiade aspires to achieve (EPIC- Environment, Peace, IT, Culture).
2015 Gwangju Universiade Organizing Committee (GUOC 2015) and UNOSDP signed a joint project agreement, including the formation of a joint Korean team, in July, 2012, and has received the official approval from FISU last month to work on the project of forming a joint Korean team. Also, UN Special Advisor of Sports, Wilfried Lemke, visited North Korea and was successful in receiving a positive response to his invitation for the participation of North Korean youths at the Youth Leadership Program (YLP) being held in Gwangju, this year.
In addition, to reduce the financial burden of Gwangju, GUOC will unfold activities in targeting domestic and international companies to become active sponsors of the games. By securing as many sponsors as possible, GUOC aims to reduce the operating costs and hereby create a surplus event.
Construction of basic infrastructures, such as competition venues and the Athletes’ Village, is being processed according to schedule. The venues that will be used for the 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade include the 3 newly constructed competition venues, the Gwangju Universiade Swimming Pool, a multi-purpose gymnasium, an archery venue, while 34 stadiums and 39 training facilities will be used after renovations. The process for the newly constructed swimming pool and multi-purpose gymnasium are finished 7% and 6% respectively.
GUOC and Gwangju volunteer center have been working together since last February with the goal of training 120,000 volunteers, who can be regarded as one of the most significant factors for the success of the games. They have jointly held volunteer education programs for 30 jobs in 10 different fields, while also conducting Universiade language schools from 2010 in languages such as English, Chinese, Japanese, French, and Spanish. They have managed to carry out language education for more than 11,000 people, which will surely be the first step in preparations for an international event.
For the opening and closing ceremonies, which will signal the start and finale of the event, GUOC plans to receive direction from experts in order to create an elegant and distinctive performance, well-portraying the Korean traditional culture while expressing the unity and friendship of the Universiade, and make it the highlight of the international festival. In order to accomplish a successful opening and closing ceremony, the GUOC will appoint an advisory committee by the end of this month, choose a general director in October, and select an event production agency by November.
Meanwhile, the 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade will be held for 12 days from July 3rd to 14th, 2015, and 20,000 participants from 170 countries are expected to take part in 21 sports events. —- FISU