UTS World Youth Festival Opens

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Festival Handover From The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia To The Kingdom Of Thailand
Festival Handover From The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia To The Kingdom Of Thailand

The 5th edition of the UTS World Youth Festival launched on Monday evening with a shower of rain regarded as a sign of good luck in the Kingdom of Thailand.

The opening ceremony was a spectacular demonstration of youth and athlete performers, dazzling the audience in all their diversity. The ceremony was led by youth from across the world and included 15 UTS Youth Ambassadors from 5 continents. The magnificent Siam Sinfonietta led by conductor Somtow Sucharitkul consisted of 72 young musicians and choir, who performed throughout the evening.

A stunning composition written for the Youth Festival by Sowtow ‘I am the Dawn’ was performed by young Rada Kanjanapruk, an 11 year old rising star.

As a tribute to the Kingdom of Thailand, Muaythai Live delivered a culture-rich performance demonstrating the ancient martial art of Muaythai. Performances included the national sport federations: world taekwondo, kendo, gymnastics, cheerleading and dance sport.

Messages of unity were shared by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee and Timothy Shriver, President of the Special Olympics.

A stunning flag parade united all organisations with inclusion at the heart. We witnessed the official flag handover from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by Her Royal Highness Princess Dlayel Nahar Saud Al Saud to the Kingdom of Thailand represented by Minister of Tourism and Sport, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

The event was attended by over 700 guests including dignitaries, representatives of the International and National Sport federations, 38 embassies as well as sport officials and athletes.

“We are beyond thankful that so many people have come to join our UTS celebration of inclusion through sports. The perseverance our attendees showed when the rain hit the opening ceremony was a special moment. It’s the same perseverance that people with challenges need to have to fight for their inclusion. We would like to thank the Kingdom of Thailand, the Sports Authority of Thailand and the NSDF for their support towards this unforgettable event” said UTS President, Stephan Fox.

Sports demonstrations followed with several Thai Sport federations including boxing, teqball, taekwondo, sumo, chess, muaythai, futsal, football, amongst others.

Throughout the week there will be workshops and plenary sessions held by organisations that have a focus on inclusion, equality, non-discrimination, and peace-promotion. Presentations are given by UNESCO, IOC Young Leaders Program, Yunus Sports Hub, Special Olympics, Angel City Sports, Mission 89, WADA, ITA, SheFighter and Ju-Jitsu for Good among others.

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