Abuja, 17 July 2017: This day, 17 July 2017 marks exactly 365 days to the 3rd African Youth Games billed for Algiers from 17 to 27 July 2018. The event, which does all of sporting Africa proud, will offer continental youths passionate and defining moments. It will thus afford yet another opportunity, after Rabat in 2010 and Gaborone in 2014, to celebrate sport and Olympic values. Bringing together people from across Africa, these third African Youth Games shall not only be a race for accolades and medals, but also and above all an intercultural event where ethical values, fair play, respect for the opponent, a healthy way of life and modesty shall be highlighted.
Judging from the preparations, it can be said that various stakeholders are resolved to make the games a resounding organisational success.
As a matter of fact, 365 days to this African youth jamboree, ANOCA deems the level of preparation quite satisfactory. On the whole, the sports programme is set. It features the following disciplines: athletics, archery, boxing, basketball (3×3), badminton, beach volley, canoeing, cycling, equestrian (pending confirmation), fencing, football, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, karate, rugby, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, volley ball, weightlifting and wrestling. In addition to these sports disciplines are bowling, vo Vietnam, wushu and squash.
Besides, the Education and Cultural Programme has also been unveiled. It also features a number of activities, notably discovery and awareness related activities on the theme “sport and health.” This will involve the discovery of the local heritage, environmental awareness and protection, as well as papers on Olympism.
Hosting sites, especially accommodation, competition and training venues have already been selected. These include the Mohamed Boudiaf Olympic Complex and its various grounds including the July 5 Stadium, the annex athletics stadium, the Olympic pool, the tennis court and the multipurpose sports hall of the Coupole. The Harcha Hacène multipurpose hall, the Baraki multipurpose hall, the Ben Aknoun Sports Centre and the Cheraga women’s multipurpose Sports Hall were also selected, just like Africa Village in Sidi Fredj and the Ouled Fayet University Hostel.
More so, the Local Organising Committee has already set up its headquarters in Ben Aknoun on the highlands of Algiers. Besides, ANOCA and AASC have already held several meetings with the local organising committee to further fine tune preparations for the coming event. During those meetings, they scrutinised a number of items, notably transportation, accommodation, accreditations, competition venues, catering, health, the programme, communication and the challenges in relation to the Youth Olympic Games billed for 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On this latter point, it was decided that the 3rd African Youth Games will be a qualifying tournament for the big world youth sports event.
All these notes of satisfaction lead us to the conclusion that Africa looks forward to giving its youth exalting moments in Algiers, barely three months ahead of the Buenos Aires event from 6 to 18 October 2018.
One year to Algiers 2018, the intensity of preparations gives room for optimism and indicates that the event will be a resounding success.
The African Youth Games, which will be in their 3rd edition in just 365 days, are an innovative project developed by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA). They celebrate solidarity, humanism and the entrenchment of the values of Olympism.
On this symbolic day of 17 July 2017, the President of ANOCA, Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, recalled the importance of the African Youth Games which, according to him, are “an unshakeable foundation which must bring every youth of the continent to take ownership of the values of Olympism.” He further made it clear that “the African Youth Games help in preparing a valuable succession.” On this occasion, President Palenfo extended his congratulations to all those who work daily to prepare for Algiers 2018, notably: members of the ANOCA Executive Committee, those of the local organising Committee headquartered in Algiers, officials of African NOCs, administrators of African Sports Confederation and all volunteers. He further expressed satisfaction with the interest and support of the African Union and AASC for the games, which all indicate that the major bodies of the African Sporting and Olympic Movement are working in concert for the development of continental youth.