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Youth Working Group in IARU Region 1 Inaugurates YOTA Online


The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1 Youth Working Group inaugurated YOTA (Youngsters on the Air) Online in late May. The program is an opportunity for young radio amateurs from Region 1 (Europe, Africa, and the Mideast) to gather online each month. For each session, a YOTA team will present various topics; the initial session focused on the Youth Contesting Program (YCP) in Region 1, in which young radiosport enthusiasts operate from well-equipped contest stations for various events. The sessions, which are open to all and conducted in English, also offer the opportunity for participants to get answers to questions addressed to the online community. Each session wraps up with a prize raffle.

Region 1 Youth Working Group chair Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, moderated the May 28 gathering. She said the YOTA Online approach evolved because a lot of activities fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond that, she said, YOTA Online provides an interactive venue for those who might be unable to attend even in-person activities. The inaugural YOTA Online session ran about 1 hour. In addition to social media platforms Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch, Leenders said the session was streamed on Amateur Television via the Es’hail QO-100 geostationary satellite from a location in Belgium, with good reports.

A huge thanks to everyone watching the first YOTA Online session,” Leenders said. “The successful session gathered more than 600 unique viewers from all continents except Oceania and Antarctica, as far as we could track. Considering this, we can say that the event was indeed taking place worldwide.”

YOTA Online was created by a team of young hams from six European countries. The first event involved dozens of hours of planning, with several team sessions held in advance to make the free YOTA broadcast available around the globe.

Leenders asked all who watched the event or viewed it after the fact for any feedback. The form also gives viewers a chance to suggest topics for future YOTA Online gatherings. The second YOTA Online session is set for Thursday, June 25, at 1800 UTC.




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