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Olympic Council of Asia looks to third Asian Youth Games in 2021

Olympic Council of Asia looks to third Asian Youth Games in 2021
November 17, 2020

The Olympic Council of Asia is aiming for the third edition of its Asian Youth Games in Shantou, China to be much more than a sports event for the continent’s top young athletes.

Plans are in hand to infuse the event, set to be held from 20th to 28th November next year, with Olympic education programs provided by the International Olympic Committee as well as displays of art and culture by the 45 National Olympic Committees that make up the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

After conducting a virtual meeting of the OCA Coordination Committee with the organising committee of the Asian Youth Games Shantou 2021 on Monday, OCA Life Vice President, Raja Randhir Singh stated “I think it is a very good initiative by the IOC to include these educational aspects into the Asian Youth Games.

“It will be great for the IOC and OCA to work together on this program and enlighten the young people of Asia on how they can contribute to peace and prosperity through sport.”

IOC Vice President Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, who is Chairman of the OCA Advisory Committee, is providing the link between the IOC’s Youth Olympic Games-related educational tools and the OCA. The IOC is encouraging the five continental associations to adopt these programmes due to the postponement of the next Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Senegal, from 2022 to 2026.

The five main topics in the IOC youth education program are Olympic values, injury prevention, the problem of harassment and abuse in sport, career management and competition manipulation.

Topics discussed at the Coordination Committee meeting included the Asian Youth Games sports program, with 18 sports and 158 events planned, venue construction, marketing, torch relay and medical and anti-doping.

There will be 25 competition venues and overall construction work is at 65 per cent, the organisers said. The main hub of the Asian Youth Games will be the Shantou University Sports Centre for the opening and closing ceremony, football and gymnastics.

The Athletes’ Village will be part of the university campus with a capacity of 4,000 athletes and officials from the OCA’s 45 National Olympic Committees.

The torch lighting ceremony will be held at the tourist hot spot of Nan’Ao Island on 21st June next year and the relay will include a torch cruise on 28th June to highlight Shantou’s seafaring history.

The OCA’s first Asian Youth Games took place in Singapore in 2009 and was followed by Nanjing, China in 2013. Both events were used as dress rehearsals for the IOC’s Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing four years later.

After the third AYG was postponed to 2021, the fourth edition will be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 2025.

The age limit for athletes will be up to 18 years old - one year older than normal policy due to the fact there will be no Youth Olympics in 2022.

Shantou is a port city in Guangdong province in southern China.

Main image: Presentations made at yesterday's Asian Youth Games Coordination Committee meeting.

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