SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) — An annual badminton tournament for multicultural families, hosted by Yonhap News Agency, South Korea’s key newswire, was held on a sharply reduced scale in Goyang, northwest of Seoul, on Saturday, amid the spread of coronavirus outbreaks.
Yonhap has hosted the event every year since 2010, together with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and other public institutions, in an effort to promote unity and reconciliation in an increasingly diversified society.
The previous tournaments used to draw about 600 participants competing in six disciplines.
In consideration of the toughened social distancing rules in the capital area, however, only 30 people who won men’s and women’s singles titles and couples’ doubles titles from 2010 to 2019 were invited to this year’s games.
The length of the tournament was also reduced from two days to just three hours for the same reason.
All the participants entered Goyang Gym, the venue of the competition, after taking a body temperature measurement and using hand sanitizer.
They competed wearing face masks, with badminton courts disinfected and kept more than 5 meters apart from each other.
Kim Kyung-seon, vice minister of gender equality and family, said in a congratulatory remark that the government will make various efforts to help multicultural family members become proud members of Korean society.
Cho Sung-boo, president and CEO of Yonhap News, gave a welcome address, saying he expects the spirit of passion and harmony of the participating players to be as strong as in previous years despite the scaling down of the event this year.