By James Crook

Gwangju 2015 have declared their Youth Leadership Programme as a successSeptember 6 - Gwangju 2015 Universiade have declared their Youth Leadership Project (YLP) as a success, as participants from nearly 20 nations attended the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP)-led event.

"The Youth Leadership Programme...has been successfully carried out, with 33 participants from 19 different countries cultivating leadership skills by participating in various sports activities," said Gwangju 2015 officials following the conclusion of the event.

The Gwangju YLP marked the first time that the programme was held in the Asia-Oceania region and was carried out by the UNOSDP and the Canadian Non-Governmental Organisation "Right to Play".

The programme provided lectures on various topics, including dispute resolution for those living in conflicting or developing nations, and also the opportunity to grow into leaders for the next generation through different sports activities.

The YLP participants also attended the EPICS Forum, which was held in Gwangju last month, and presented their own opinions of how sports can contribute to the development of each community.

130831 YLP soccer1Participants took part in sports such football and table tennis at the YLP

North Korean participant Ju Hyok said: "It was really exciting to socialise with people from many countries around the world."

Tongan Paralympic Committee member Ilisoni Tabua Niukapu, another participant of the YLP, said: "The most memorable part of the programme was the visually-impaired experience, and I would like to take what I've learned back home and develop a programme to help those who are visually-impaired."

Following a successful event, Gwangju officials are now looking forward to further enhancing the programme for the next two YLP's which will be held in the city in 2014 and the year in which they host the Summer Universiade, 2015.

"By reflecting on the feedback from the participants of the first YLP held in Gwangju, we will fully prepare for a more improved programme for the remaining two rounds of YLP that is to be held in the next two years," said Gwangju 2015.

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