CHAIR of the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission for the 2026 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Kirsty Coventry, has hailed the planning for the imminent Dakar en Jeux festival.
The Dakar 2026 Organising Committee have announced that the second edition of the festival in the Senegalese capital, which includes sports, concerts and cultural events, and is due to take place between October 31 and November 4.
It is expected to involve an expected 30 000 spectators, 2 000 athletes and 200 volunteers.
“After the amazing success of the inaugural edition in 2022, Dakar is gearing up for another incredible celebration and lots of excitement, as we look forward to the Youth Olympic Games in 2026,” said Coventry, who is also the Minister of Sport in Zimbabwe.
“The festival isn’t just about showcasing sports; it’s also about embracing the values of the Youth Olympic Games and building bridges between communities.
“People will have the opportunity to witness incredible talents, experience the thrill of competition, and connect with like-minded individuals who share their passion for sports and cultural enrichment.”
Dakar en Jeux 2023 is set to begin with an Opening Ceremony held at the iconic Renaissance Monument in Dakar.
In addition to concerts and performances, all 14 regions of Senegal will come together, showcasing their unique dances and traditional clothing.
An urban day is also scheduled to take place, offering a wide range of opportunities to discover sports like rollerblading, BMX and skateboarding.
Schools across Senegal, in Tambacounda, Kolda and Ziguinchor, will welcome the “Brevet Olympique Civique et Sportif”, a project aiming to promote sports and the Olympic values to 2,000 children.
The city of Diamniadio will become a hub of athletic and futsal events.
In the meantime, Saly will host a range of beach sports, including beach wrestling and beach volleyball, at Obama Beach.
The city will conclude the celebrations with a Closing Ceremony combining music and dance performances.
In 2022, more than 1 500 athletes took part in 26 sports events and demonstrations over eight days and around 30 artists performed at numerous concerts and cultural activities.
Meanwhile, International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Tayyab Ikram has been added to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for Brisbane 2032.
The Pakistan official has joined the body which is chaired by Zimbabwe’s Minister of Sport, Coventry, a former IOC Executive Board member and the former chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
“I am honoured and humbled to be appointed as a member of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games, and grateful for the recognition of my many years of commitment and service to international sport and the Olympic Movement,” said Ikram.
“I very much look forward to being able to contribute from my in-depth knowledge and understanding of Games planning and operations, gathered through 16 years of serving on Coordination Commissions for the Asian Games, both Summer and Winter, as well as having been involved in many Olympic Games in various roles, which has provided me with comprehensive insight into Games operations and, in particular, those of the Olympic Games,” said Ikram. – Inside the Games