Delegation's for Dialogue's first sports programme 'The Runners Delegation' took place in Pyongyang in April 2016. Building on this programme's success, this spring we will bring a small sports delegation to the DPRK to continue pursuing possibilities for future exchange opportunities. The programme has been designed to facilitate opportunities for delegates to potentially return to the DPRK with the purpose of implementing their own sports exchange initiatives. Delegates will visit to institutions such as the Pyongyang Football Academy and will have the chance to participate in a range of sporting activities, such as the Pyongyang Marathon 2018.

2 - 10 April 2018 | China & the DPRK


  • Participate in discussions, roundtables and seminars in China; receiving briefings from a range of experts and practitioners from the field of sports diplomacy. 
  • Explore the Rason Special Economic Zone and the city of Chongjin, located in the far Northeast of the country.
  • Engage in language and sports exchange activities with local Korean students.
  • Travel to Pyongyang, the capital city of the DPRK and visit sites of historical and cultural importance.
  • Visit the ancient city of Kaesong and the DMZ.
  • Participate in the 2018 Pyongyang Marathon (known as the Mangyongdae Prize) with the option of running the full race (42km), half (21km), 10km or 5km.
  • Visit the Pyongyang Football Academy and participate in a friendly football match with youth players training for the national team.
  • Receive an introduction to the Korean martial art of Taekwondo at Pyongyang Taekwondo School.
  • Discuss and develop future sports exchange opportunities with relevant partners. 


Additional sports related activities will be arranged according to the composition of the delegation. A full schedule will be provided to delegates after they are accepted onto the programme.

Programme Details

TYPE: Sports Exchange

START: Beijing, China | 2 April 2018

END: Beijing, China | 10 April 2018

FEE:  GBP 1250 [EUR 1415, USD 1730]

Financial assistance will be available for a small number of delegates. Please read our Programme Fees and Funding page for more information.

FEE INCLUDES: Double occupancy accommodation, three meals per day, all transportation, DPRK visa fees, all entry tickets.

FEE EXCLUDES: Transportation to and from Beijing, Marathon fee, double entry China Visa, DPRK guide tips, additional alcoholic drinks, travel insurance, personal spending on souvenirs and anything not mentioned under included.


  • Currently enrolled student at a university
  • Recent graduates (within 5 years of graduating)
  • Not a citizen of South Korea or the USA


Delegates will be selected on a rolling basis. Early applications are strongly advised. For more information please read the Application Process page

Programme Outline

2 April (Monday): (AM) Gather in Beijing. Briefing.

3 April (Tuesday): (AM) Bullet train to Yanji. (PM) Yanji.

4 April (Wednesday): (AM) Enter the DPRK. (PM) Rason.

5 April (Thursday): Sports and language exchange activities.

6 April (Friday): (AM) Orang to Pyongyang. (PM) Kaesong.

7 April (Saturday): (AM) Kaesong. (PM) Pyongyang.

8 April (Sunday): The 2018 Pyongyang Marathon.

9 April (Monday): Train to Sinuiju, onward to Beijing.

10 April (Tuesday): (AM) Arrive in Beijing. Programme ends

“Sport has the power to change the world, the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else can [...] It is an instrument for peace”
— Nelson Mandela


 Student delegates introduces themselves to the DPRK (U-16) Football team.  Pyongyang, April 2016

Student delegates introduces themselves to the DPRK (U-16) Football team. Pyongyang, April 2016

The inclusive spirit of sport can act as a powerful force in bringing people together from around the world. Sport not only carries the unique ability to transcend borders and promote dialogue, but also offers opportunities to expose participants to each others cultures. This is no different in Korea. In a dramatic gesture of reconciliation, North and South Korean athletes have agreed to march under a unified flag at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang. They will also field a joint women’s ice hockey team. 

While sports exchanges can take place at various levels, Delegations for Dialogue is committed in facilitating sports  exchange opportunities that are open to youth, amateur and professional sports teams alike. The Sports & Diplomacy Programme 2018 will aim to to facilitate additional sports exchanges in one of the world's most isolated nations and will coincide with the most important annual sporting events open to the international community, the Pyongyang Marathon.