By Nick Butler

Delegates at the 2nd Epics Forum in Gwangju ©Gwangju 2015A second edition of the Epics Forum, a collaboration between the United Nations and the Organising Committee for the Gwangju 2015 Summer Universiade, has taken place in the South Korean city. 

The Forum, which tackled the theme of "Sports meets Art and Culture", sought to provide a platform to share ideas and build a peaceful and sustainable future through sports.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon provided an opening address, via video, in which he explained how sport fits in with the wider UN agenda of promoting world development.

"Sport provides a unique platform for communities and individuals to connect, inspire, motivate and educate," he said.

"The global spirit of sport is also conveyed through many forms of art and culture.

"I encourage you to continue harnessing the power of sport to help achieve equality, social inclusion, respect, and peace for all."

Participants at the Youth Leadership event pose with representatives from Korean Air and Gwangju 2015 ©Korean AirParticipants at the Youth Leadership event pose with representatives from Korean Air and Gwangju 2015 ©Korean Air

The event also formed part of the wider Youth Leadership campaign which, for the second year in a row, took place with the support of Korean Air.

The partnership is the continuation of Korean Air chairman Yang Ho Cho's effort to support sport for development, peace and empowering world youth through sport, with Cho also performing this role through his work as President of the Organising Committee for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Thirty-five young participants attended the event, from 20 countries ranging from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal and Cambodia.

Among those present was the two-time Sochi 2014 gold medal winner in short track speed skating, Park Seung-hee, and Lee Kyu-hyeok, a four-time world champion in long track speed skating who competed at six Olympic Games.

They participated in mentoring session with the attendants and shared their exciting experiences and challenges of competing at the highest level.

During the event, participants received training offered by international sports federations and other sports development leaders, with six players and a coach from Korean Air Jumbos, a professional volleyball team, also participating.

Contact the writer of this story at nick.butler@insidethegames

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