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29 August 2013 | in Multisports, Summer Universiade

2013 EPICS Forum, Sport for Development and Peace


Young Leadership Programme 

GWANGJU – The 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade Organising Committee (GUOC 2015), in collaboration with the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), held the International Youth Mentoring Programme, the EPICS Forum, on August 23rd in Gwangju.

This forum was held in order to contribute to the development of youths and achieve world peace through sports. More than 600 were in attendance, including Korean and foreign university students and other guests.

The EPICS Forum was designed to deliver the values of the Gwangju Universiade, EPIC (Environment, Peace, IT, Culture), UN's Millennium Development Goals, as well as the sports for development and peace to the youths of the world. It was held for the first time in Gwangju this year and will continue on and offline until the 2015 Gwangju Universiade.Stefan Bergh

Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, sent his greetings via video messaging, which was followed by talks given by the speakers and presentations by the PT competition participants.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon's video message stated: "Sport is a universal language. It unites people and cultures and helps to build bridges for peace. It can be a powerful catalyst for social change." He also explained about the value of sports by saying, "That is why the UN supports using sport to promote equality and social inclusion and help achieve the Millennium Development Goals."

Mr. Ban welcomed all in attendance and encouraged the participants "to listen, learn, exchange experiences and work together for a sustainable just and peaceful future", while also commending the GUOC for preparing this forum and helping the students to consider the role they can play in this vital matter.

Mayor Kang also urged the students to pay attention to the speakers as they are world renowned leaders in each EPICS field and will give inspiration for world peace and development through their sharing of knowledge and experience.

At the forum, Achim Steiner, Secretary General of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); Tegla Loroupe, UN Ambassador of Sports and Lee lee nam, media artist, were each appointed as a mentor in the fields of Environment, Sports Development, and Culture.Tegla Loroupe

Also, leading the world in the development of university sports, Stefan Bergh, FISU Vice-President spoke to the students with the theme "Leadership for the Future" and talked about the importance of leadership through his own experiences.

Laima Janusonyte, the first female Vice-President of the International Sports Press Association; Jang Mi-ran, Olympic Gold medalist and chief director of her own foundation, and Ma Young-sam, the first Korean ambassador for Public Diplomacy, attended the forum and gave inspiring speeches to the students and talked about their personal experiences in their field of expertise.

Ms. Janusonyte talked about sports journalism, focusing on a number of problems relating to women sports journalists and women's leadership in the work field, based on her own experiences. Ms. Jang mentioned the 3Cs that influenced her life, which were ‘Choice’, ‘Challenge’, and ‘Chance’ and sincerely advised the students cease the opportunities that they meet. Finally, Mr. Ma discussed the changes that such mega sports festivals have brought to Korea and tried to help the young generation understand their role as the new leaders of the world.

During the forum, the 33 participants of the Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) were also present and gave a presentation in front of all in attendance on the topic of 'Sports Development'.

Especially, Choi Shin-young (PRK), also participated in the presentation by introducing the latest sports facilities and the physical development programme of her country.

Now that the first offline forum was successfully held, it will be converted to an online forum (epicspeaker.org) where the students will become the mentees of the mentors and receive ongoing mentoring.


(Source: GUOC 2015)