On February 7-9, 2020 the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and the PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation invited thirty-six young athletes from four countries to participate in the inaugural PyeongChang Peace Cup in PyeongChang, Korea.
The three-day event served as a youth-focused side event before the PyeongChang Peace Forum, a global meeting of various stakeholders looking to build on the spirit of peace created by the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The athletes participated in a futsal tournament and capacity-building workshops centered on building peace, promoting tolerance, enabling trust, and bridging gaps in understanding through sport. The participants formed friendships and bonds over the three days through shared meals, futsal practices, and cultural activities arranged by the organizers.
The teams included: Vijana Amani Pamoja from Kenya, Las Super Poderosas from Bolivia, and a collection of players from East Timor. The teams were joined by three local South Korean teams: Injae Girin Middle School, Gangwon PyeongChang Middle School, and Gangwon Jinbu Middle School. The teams were comprised of mixed genders, except for the all-female team, Las Super Poderosas, from Bolivia.
The first day was the Peace Workshop, which consisted of capacity-building sessions to activate the peace leadership potential of the participants. WFUNA staff introduced the players to the work of the United Nations, specifically their youth, peace, and security initiatives. Athletes learned how the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 called on member states to recognize the importance of youth in peace activities, and for young people to take ownership in peace efforts in their countries. Players also participated in team-building activities focused on communication, cross-cultural understanding, team-building, active listening, problem solving, and empathy.
The following two days were the futsal tournament, which featured a range of games between original and mixed teams. The first day country teams were split into two equal groups, with the teams playing each other in a round-robin format. For the final day, the players were redistributed based on ability. The new teams were chosen by representatives of the Hong Myung Bo Foundation, after observing the first day of games and ensured teams had a fair representation based on ability, gender, and country of origin.
After the final game, the teams, partners, and local officials came together for a closing ceremony. Myung-gyu Choi, Director General of External Relations of the 2018 Foundation and Mr. Ivan Dibos, member of the International Olympic Committee and Vice President of the World Tawekwondo Federation made the closing remarks. A dinner event to commemorate the beginning of the Peace Forum shortly followed.
WFUNA would like to thank the hosts of the PyeongChang Peace Cup 2020: Gangwon Province, Pyeongchang Country, KOICA; and the sponsors: Hong Myung Bo Foundation, KEB Hana Bank, and Applerind.
Furthermore, WFUNA would like to extend an additional thanks to the referees of the Gangwon Futsal Association for officiating the matches, the nurses from Gangwon University Sports Medical
Center for providing medical care throughout the tournament, and the Jinbu Saemaeul Mother’s Association for providing snacks and refreshments during the games.