The world of sports has an incredible ability to transcend boundaries, unite people, and foster positive change. Meanwhile, as the next generation of leaders, the youth possess the power to drive transformative change. United Through Sports (UTS) is an organization that promotes social inclusion for youth of all abilities through the power of sport, education, and health. UTS was founded under the Alliance of Independent Recognised Sports (AIMS), one of the four umbrella bodies recognized by the International Olympic Committee and carries a vision : to bridge the international sport community, breaking down barriers that often divide us and stand behind a global movement with over 146 organizations supporting worldwide, all are committed to championing values like inclusion, equality, peace promotion, kindness, and non-discrimination.
Let’s take a look at the impact UTS has made last year, with its flagship event the World Youth Festival which last year was held in Bangkok, Thailand.
UNPRECENTED COLLABORATION, CELEBRATING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
In November 2022, The International Olympic Committee, Paralympics, and Special Olympics, alongside over 146 organizations, IFs, NGOs and partners, came together in Bangkok, Thailand under the banner of UTS. This groundbreaking collaboration set the stage for a truly extraordinary and impactful event. The World Youth Festival celebrated young athletes and participants from diverse backgrounds and abilities across five continents. It showcased the power of sports to rise above differences and bring people together in the spirit of competition, camaraderie, and friendship.
UTS YOUNG LEADERS
Joining from all over the world, the UTS Young Leaders came together in Bangkok for the Festival and to inspire youth across the world. These young changemakers are paving the way for a better society and fighting in their own unique ways for a truly inclusive world. They embody the spirit of UTS, demonstrating that the youth of today are the catalysts for change and progress in building a more inclusive society. UTS YL’s are pioneering their own projects and missions via developing their own initiatives, NGOs, foundations and activities. We are proud to support their growth and activism. The UTS Young Leaders movement is ever expanding with new Young Leaders joining the team! Meet Vanessa Power, the newest amazing individual joining the Young Leader Movement !
ADVOCACY & ACTIVISM
Beyond the sporting field where the youth experience various sports for all abilities, the festival provided a platform for advocacy and activism. Participants engaged in discussions and workshops on important topics such as gender equality, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability, amplifying the impact of the event beyond the sports arena. These sessions were interactive and action-oriented with the youth making a call to action for a more inclusive world.
A HYBRID FESTIVAL WITH GLOBAL OUTREACH
Through a virtual platform accessible from anywhere online with live broadcasts and social media, it meant that the World Youth Festival reached a global audience, inspiring people from all corners of the world to join the movement for a more inclusive society using their social media and resources.
UTS JOINS UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK TO DISCUSS SAFETY OF YOUTH IN SPORTS
In addition to the achievements highlighted in the UTS Impact Report, United Through Sports played a pivotal role on the global stage by participating in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) held in New York on September 25th 2023. At this prestigious event, UTS CEO Julia Govinden actively engaged in discussions centered around ensuring the safety and well-being of youth involved in sports worldwide, alongside other stakeholders, namely Mission 89, a research, education, and advocacy NGO headquartered in Geneva which addresses child trafficking in sport. To learn more about this endeavor and the future collaboration between UTS, Mission 89 and the United Nations, please read the following news article [YOUTH SAFETY AND THE FUTURE: UTS STEPS INTO THE UNITED NATIONS HQ].
The UTS Impact Report showcases the organization’s absolute dedication to using sports as a vehicle for positive change. As you read this article, we invite you to delve deeper into the full report to explore the ways in which UTS leaves a lasting imprint on the world.
As we reflect on the incredible journey of United Through Sports, we are reminded of the boundless potential that sport has to create positive change and bring people together. The impact that we have witnessed, from unprecedented collaborations to the passionate dedication of our Young Leaders, is a testament to the transformative power of sports. I would like to thank the UTS Team, without whom this journey would not have been possible. As we move forward, let us continue to stand united, breaking down barriers and championing the values of inclusion, equality, peace, kindness, and non-discrimination. Together, we can shape a brighter future for generations to come.
You can download the full report below