The 800 ‘Uni-Birds’ university student volunteers shout “Let’s go!”
after the Welcome Ceremony congratulating the group’s launch,
held on April 12, 2012 at Gwangju City Hall main conference room.
GWANGJU, April 16, 2012 - The 2015 Gwangju Universiade Organizing Committee held a Welcome Ceremony for its latest group of student supporters at a grand hall in Gwangju City Hall, April 12. About 800 students from universities in Gwangju and the surrounding Jeollanam-do region attended the ceremony and pledged their efforts to make the 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade a success.
The Organizing Committee agreed MOUs with 14 university students’ associations in Gwangju and Jeollanam-do, who then put out the call for volunteers from within their student body. The Welcome Ceremony featured dancing, cheering and cultural performances to inspire the student supporters and motivate them to play an active role in the preparation for the 2015 Gwangju Universiade.
“I hope you will all take a leading role in this sports festival, which unites university students from all over the world, and act with pride and confidence as you make new history,” said Gwangju Mayor Kang Un-tae.
Brent Byers, Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, also attended the ceremony. “2015 Gwangju Universiade has greatly contributed to improve Gwangju’s status. I am hopeful that you will let the people around the world know the 2015 Gwangju Universiade and light up Gwangju,” he said.
University student supporters will play a leading role in stimulating university participation in the 2015 Gwangju Universiade, through various activities such as planning promotional events and ideas, undertaking cycling tours to raise awareness, and writing articles for newspapers and magazines both at home and abroad.
Through these activities, the 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade Organizing Committee is planning to build up a network of 150,000 domestic and international university students by 2015. The student supporters will form the core of the Universiade network, to carry on multilateral promotional work for the successful hosting of the 2015 Gwangju Universiade.
The name of the Universiade supporters group was selected through a public contest. The winning suggestion, ‘Uni-Birds’, came from Song-won University student, Jeong Won, who also received an award at the Welcome Ceremony. The name ‘Uni-Birds’ implies that, as birds can fly freely to many places, so the student supporters will be able to promote the Gwangju Universiade widely and freely through a diverse range of tools.
The event additionally utilized Foursquare, a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, which currently has around 1.5 million users. Foursquare members can use the service to check in and communicate when they move from place to place, and receive ‘badges’ when attending events. These badges can promote the Universiade effectively through social networks. The Welcome Ceremony garnered a ‘Super Swarm Badge’, awarded when more than 250 people check in at the same time.