Over 100 representatives of local and international press turned up at the official prelaunch held at the Arnoma Hotel Ballroom. The event opened with a powerful video showcasing the 92 recognised sports grouped together under the GAISF umbrella. Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul opened the press conference showing her pride as a Thai and IOC member that the SportAccord convention has been awarded to Thailand and the unique opportunity for Thailand to present itself to the world. It furthermore outlines Thailand as a sporting hub in the South East Asian region.
As an IOC member Khunying also showed her pride that the IOC has granted patronage to the festival and she congratulated all organisations and individuals who have joined hands in the United Through Sport Campaign. Khunying thanked especially Stephan Fox the GAISF Vice President and AIMS President for his vision in the unique power of sport.
Colonel Ruj Sangudom Deputy Governor of the Sport Authority of Thailand stated that Thailand looks forward to welcoming the leading personalities to Bangkok including the IOC President and preparations are well on the way both at the convention to be held at the Centara Centre and the festival which will be held outside of the Centara.
GAISF Vice President and AIMS President thanked the Royal Thai Government for all the work that has been done, especially by SAT confirming once again the excitement and enthusiasm the world of sport has towards visiting the Kingdom of Thailand for this world summit.
History will be made as the festival is the first ever addition to the SportAccord Convention, with over 40 sports both Olympic and Non-Olympic that will participate. Without giving too much away, the opening ceremony will involve over 80 children reminding us about the importance of this event.
Panida Ottesen, Executive Secretary of AIMS presented the festival structure with four different zone: Mainstage, centre court, combat zone and sport for all zone as well as the daily activity plan.
The CEO of SportAbility Julia Govinden one of the driving forces behind United Through Sport initiative presented the conference program commencing on the 17th April including many high profile speakers: IOC President, President SportAccord, President of WADA, Minister of Sport and Tourism in Thailand, President ASOIF, President of Peace and Sport and speakers from UN Women, UNESCO, Right To Play, IOC Athletes Commission, EPAS and Stephan Fox President of AIMS. These speakers furthermore show the importance of cooperation and unity. The closing of the festival will be held on the 20th and will also include many high profile speakers with His Royal Highness Prince Feisal of Jordan as the keynote speaker.
The prelaunch concluded with the children choir giving a glimpse of what is to come for the opening ceremony with many children coming together unified to make an appeal towards peace and harmony before the march in of displaced and disadvantaged youth sporting teams.