Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games plans on track four years to go

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The Dakar 2026 project remains firmly rooted in the national, African and global ecosystem and continues to generate interest and hope. (Photo: IOC)

The fourth meeting of the IOC Coordination Commission Dakar 2026, held virtually on October 13, focused on the latest activities of the Organizing Committee for the Youth Olympic Games (YOOG). Plans for the upcoming Dakar en Jeux festival were presented, while updates were also provided on other key areas of Games preparation such as infrastructure, marketing and partnership activities, planning strategy and cultural programs.

Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Dakar 2026, said: “We are delighted to see the tremendous work that has been accomplished by Dakar 2026 since the announcement of the postponement of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). due to the COVID pandemic. They have embraced the opportunity to work on local youth engagement with great enthusiasm and have made great strides in delivering sports and cultural programs. We are delighted to have such strong stakeholders come together to make these YOG a great success.”

“Thanks to the hard work of the Dakar 2026 teams and the IOC, the project remains firmly rooted in the national, African and global ecosystem, and continues to generate interest and hope,” said Ibrahima Wade, the General Coordinator of Dakar 2026. “Our energy has been focused on repositioning the project, establishing a new roadmap and taking advantage of the opportunities created by the postponement from 2022 to 2026”, he he adds.

Dakar in Games festival
The Dakar in Games festival, a celebration of sport and culture, will be held in the YOG host areas of Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly on the dates the YOG 2022 was originally scheduled to take place before the Games were postponed due to the COVID pandemic -19.

The festival is a key engagement initiative of the YOGOC Dakar 2026 and aims to promote the upcoming YOG while encouraging local youth to get involved. Events, made by and for young people, will take place over eight days, with sports activities and competitions, concerts and cultural celebrations. The YOGOC plans to host the Dakar in Games festival every year in the run-up to Dakar 2026.

In 14 days of competition, Dakar 2026 will bring together the best young athletes in the world around a program of 35 sports. (Photo: IOC)

Other major youth engagement initiatives underway
The Coordination Commission also heard of several other engagement activities aimed at taking advantage of the opportunity presented by the postponement of the YOG to help energize the Senegalese sports and cultural sector and leave a lasting legacy of the Games. These include the Olympic, Civics and Sports Certificate – a new education program focused on the Olympic values ​​that aims to reach up to 900,000 children in 11,000 schools by 2026. Students aged 9 to 15 years across Senegal will have the opportunity to attend the courses, participants also have the opportunity to volunteer at the YOG.

In addition, the Kids Olympic Skills initiative, which will be launched during the Dakar in Games festival, will promote education and youth engagement through sport, with the national project giving children aged 6-18 the chance to try out a range of different sports ahead of the YOG.

Finally, the Impact 52 Fitness program will aim to encourage the practice of sport and improve the health and well-being of people of all ages across Senegal. The program will be launched in 10 pilot centers in 2023 before a national roll-out in the following years.

Updates on site renovations and construction work
The commission also received updates on ongoing renovation and construction work ahead of the YOG. Detailed timelines for each of the projects were presented by the Dakar 2026 Organizing Committee. It was also announced that in Diamniadio, one of the three host cities for the various competition venues, all campus buildings UAM University which is planned to be used as part of the Youth Olympic Village has already been completed and equipped.

In 14 days of competition, Dakar 2026 will bring together the best young athletes in the world around a program of 35 sports. The Organizing Committee will continue to work with international sports federations to find optimizations and creative solutions to deliver the most exciting, meaningful and profitable event for and by young people.


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