Gwangju – Korea, Sept 20, 2013: On August 22nd, the Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) being held in Gwangju started its 13 day journey.
The 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade Organizing Committee (GUOC 2015) commented, “The Youth Leadership Programme that lasted from August 22nd to September 3rd has been successfully carried out, with 33 participants from 19 different countries cultivating leadership skills by participating in various sports activities.”
This YLP that was held in Gwangju marked the first time that the programme was held in the Asia-Oceania region and was carried out by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) and the Canadian NGO ‘Right to Play’. The programme not only provided lectures on various topics, including dispute resolution for those living in conflicting or developing nations, but also the opportunity to form interchange of networks and grow into leaders for the next generation through different sports activities.
In particular, the YLP participants attended the EPICS Forum, which was held in Gwangju on August 23rd, and presented their own opinions of how sports can contribute to the development of each community.
Also, under the theme of ‘realization of peace through sports’, the participants could learn about gender equality, proper attitude towards those with disabilities, and other correct values to look at the world properly through sports.
Through various sporting events, such as table tennis, soccer, and more, the YLP participants were able to discern to not discriminate someone based on their gender or disabilities while also learning to overcome social obstacles by harmonious association.
One of the participants, 25-year old JU Hyok (PRK) said, “It was really exciting to socialize with people from many countries around the world”, and showed a special interest in the field environment and gender equality. Ilisoni Tabua Niukapu (27), another participant of the YLP and also a member of the Tongan Paralympic Committee, commented about his impressions about the programme, “The most memorable part of the programme was the visually-impaired experience, and I would like to take what I’ve learned back home and develop a programme to help those who are visually-impaired.”
A member of the Organizing Committee stated, “By reflecting on the feedback from the participants of the first YLP held in Gwangju, we will fully prepare for a more improved programme for the remaining two rounds of YLP that is to be held in the next two years.”
Meanwhile, after enjoying 13 days of the Youth Leadership Programme, the participants have all returned to their home countries and will be working towards development and peace through sports with all they have acquired in Gwangju. —- FISU