By Paul Osborne

There are just 400 days to go until the start of the 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade ©Gwangju 2015Gwangju 2015 today celebrates just 400 days to go until the start of next year's Summer Universiade.

The Games will be a global sports festival, welcoming around 20,000 participants from 170 countries under the theme "Light Up Tomorrow" from July 3 to 14, it is claimed.

The Universiade is hoping to leave a lasting legacy of sport within South Korea and to all those participating in the event as it promotes the platform of communication for youths across the globe, while hoping to share the Games' EPIC - Eco-friendliness, Peace, IT, Culture - vision.

Gwangju 2015 organisers are using the 400 days to go mark to look back on the promotional efforts it has implemented in the build-up to the Games.

These highlights include revealing the official slogan, emblem and mascot, as well as appointing various sports stars, such as Son Yeon-jae, Yang Hak-seon, Ki Bo-bae, Choi Eun-sook and K-pop star, Miss A's Suzy, as promotional ambassadors for the Games.

Looking to the future, preparations are well on their way ahead of the global sporting event, with renovation and reconstruction favoured over brand new constructions in an effort to lower costs and produce an eco-friendly Games.

With 400 days to go until Gwangju 2015, organisers are looking back on the highlights of preparations to date ©Gwangju 2015With 400 days to go until Gwangju 2015, organisers are looking back on the highlights of preparations to date ©Gwangju 2015

Gwangju 2015 has also revealed that the operating costs of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies has been reduced by an estimated KRW₩100 billion (£58 million/$99 million/€73 million) through a simplification process and a "breakthrough in operating strategy".

With around 20,000 participants and officials set to make the trip to Gwangju, organisers are currently recruiting up to 30,000 volunteers to help accommodate such a host of competitors.

Training programmes and language courses are being devised by organisers to give these volunteers, or "unirangs", the best preparations to help the athletes, with volunteer training schools being set up in local volunteer centres across South Korea.

These volunteers will be joined by university student ambassadors, "Uni-friends", and the local University student promotional group, "Uni-birds", who are actively taking part in promoting the Gwangju Universiade.

Organisers of the Gwangju Universiade will be holding test events from next month in an effort to build a successful Games operating system, while also taking part in the operational works of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games to gain first-hand experience of sports organisation.

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