The first Dakar 2026 initiatives were launched through the  Olympic Values Education Programme  (OVEP), with 60 future OVEP implementers taking part in a training course to help them develop their own educational programmes around the Olympic values.

Since the start of spring, Senegal has been celebrating sport and its values with activities organised in the lead-up to the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Dakar 2026. The goals are to engage with young people, get them moving, introduce them to the Olympic values and identify those who will ultimately contribute to the staging of the YOG. Such activities will be organised every year in the spirit of teranga*, as momentum builds all the way up to 2026.

Following the four-year postponement of the YOG in Dakar, the Dakar 2026 Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been working closely to make the most of this additional time by putting together a unique programme of activities to mobilise young people in Senegal and Africa and transform the Senegalese sports sector in the long term.

A task force, made up of teams from the IOC and Dakar 2026, plus local stakeholders – the City of Dakar and the Senegalese Ministries of Youth, Sport and Education – is working to identify concrete action to be implemented this year.

“With our partners in Senegal, we have selected activities that blend sport, art and music to connect with young people specifically,” said the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Dakar 2026, Kirsty Coventry. “2022 will be a very significant year for the organisers, with exciting programmes offered in Dakar and across Senegal. It is a real taste of the very ambitious engagement programme envisaged between now and 2026.”

The programme of activities has been developed as part of the pre-Games legacy plan. It embodies the Dakar 2026 vision: “Youth and sport united to contribute to the transformation of Senegal, and a source of inspiration for Africa.”

Concrete action on the ground from 2022 all the way to 2026

The first educational initiatives began this week through the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP). Training sessions are being given to 60 participants from organisations interested in Olympism and promoting the Olympic values, including the Senegalese National Olympic Academy, the Ministries of Sport, National Education and Youth, and the National Education and Sports Institute (INSEPS). The participants, who are instructors themselves, are being given a full introduction to the Olympic values as part of two- to three-day train-the-trainer workshops. They are learning how to develop their own educational programmes and tailor activities to their communities and specific local contexts. Once they have completed the course, the instructors will become ambassadors for Olympism as part of the “OVEP Master Trainers” community in Senegal.

A new feature of the educational programme will be the “Brevet Olympique Civique et Sportif” certificate, which is aimed at schoolchildren throughout the country, from primary to secondary school level. Classes will be given to pupils to teach them about the Olympic values as part of their allocated civic education hours. The goal is also to identify potential YOG volunteers and grant a label to the schools taking part in the programme. 

The traditional “Youth Weeks” will be taking place in May, and they will have a distinctive Olympic flavour between 2022 and 2026. The 2022 edition, which was officially launched by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, on 2 April, will have the theme “Youth Weeks in tandem with Olympism”. Some 9,000 young people will take part in competitions throughout the country between 26 and 29 May 2022. The goals are to make participation in sports competitions more freely accessible to young people and to raise awareness about the YOG.

One of the highlights of the programme will be the “Dakar en Jeux!” festival in October and November 2022 – when the YOG were initially due to take place. This celebration of sport and culture will then be held every year all the way up until 2026. The festival will be an opportunity to raise the profile of the YOG and mobilise key stakeholders, in particular local young people.

“We are delighted to see that young people are already getting physically active, getting excited, discovering new sports and looking after their health in the run-up to the Games,” said Ibrahima Wade, the General Coordinator for the YOG Dakar 2026. “We will be celebrating the arrival of the Games – which are highly anticipated – over the next four years. We are welcoming sport in the spirit of teranga!”

Other sports activities being taken round the country and developed for the long term

The “Kids Olympic Skills” programme will enable young people to get familiar with and hone their skills in new Olympic sports, and practise these sports on a more regular basis. The sports will vary depending on the region, so that they are best tailored to the young participants’ respective local environments. This initiative will also help to develop a nationwide programme to promote water sports, which will include offering swimming lessons to children. The “Impact 52 Fitness”  programme will be more oriented towards health and well-being. This programme will be taken round the country to engage directly with the people of Senegal, with a view to promoting the physical and mental health benefits of sport and exercise, and raising awareness about public health issues.

The YOG Dakar 2026: an Olympic first in Africa

The YOG 2026 aim to serve as a catalyst to transform Senegalese young people through sport, and become a blueprint for Senegal and future YOG hosts. There are 28 sports on the programme, plus seven additional sports that were proposed by Dakar 2026 (baseball5, breaking, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and wushu). The Games will be held across three host sites, Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly. The official dates will be announced in due course. *Senegal’s distinct brand of respect and hospitality.

Friday, October 15, 2021

First Dakar 2026 initiatives to get underway on the ground in 2022 in the spirit of “teranga”     The third Coordination Commission meeting for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Dakar 2026 was held virtually on 15 October to take stock of the progress on the first sports development initiatives in Senegal. The Commission also received status updates on the ongoing renovation and construction work.   Since the four-year postponement of the YOG in Dakar was announced a year ago, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Dakar 2026 have been working closely to make the most of this additional time by identifying and harnessing the best local opportunities. The aim is to implement concrete action on the ground, through sport, to mobilise Senegalese young people around the values of “teranga”, Senegal’s distinct brand of respect and hospitality. The Chair of the Coordination Commission, Kirsty Coventry, said: “The new calendar offers unprecedented opportunities for Senegal and Africa. These first Games in Africa will be exemplary in a number of ways. The pre-Games phase will identify opportunities to boost the Senegalese sports sector ahead of the YOG. Games legacy preparations are already underway through concrete action on the ground.” Concrete action on the ground to begin in 2022 As per Dakar 2026’s plans, and with the unanimous support of the Coordination Commission members, the first initiatives on the ground will get underway in the first half of 2022. A task force, made up of teams from the IOC and Dakar 2026, plus local stakeholders (the Senegalese Ministries of Youth, Sport and Education), is working to identify the initial activities to be launched. In November 2021, an IOC delegation will travel to Senegal for working meetings with Dakar 2026; these will serve as an opportunity to exchange ideas with all the stakeholders involved in the YOG. Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, President of the Senegalese National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSS) and an IOC Member, said: “The enthusiasm for the YOG Dakar 2026 among young people in Senegal is as strong as ever! They are already engaging with the preparatory activities ahead of the YOG. Senegal and Africa are ready to host and get involved with all these sporting initiatives in the run-up to 2026 and beyond. This is what is motivating us all to keep up our engagement.” Update on ongoing venue redevelopment and construction work During the Coordination Commission meeting, the Dakar 2026 teams delivered a status update on the renovation and construction work being carried out. The sites undergoing renovation are Iba Mar Diop Stadium, the Caserne Samba Diery Diallo equestrian centre, and the Tour de l’Oeuf complex, which will house the Olympic pool. The process is well underway, with the planning studies currently being conducted and the renovation work due to start in late 2022. The construction of Amadou Mahtar Mbow University (UAM), the future Youth Olympic Village, is progressing smoothly, in line with the timetable communicated to the IOC. Dakar 2026 – a model for Africa and future hosts The YOG Dakar 2026 Edition Plan, which was approved in July 2020, is the reference document that aims to use the YOG as a catalyst to transform Senegalese young people through sport, and make these Games a blueprint for Senegal and future YOG hosts. There are 28 sports on the programme, plus seven additional sports that were proposed by Dakar 2026 (baseball5, breaking, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and wushu). The Games will be held across three host sites, Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly. The official dates will be announced in due course.

Dakar 2026: New opportunities arise from postponement of the Youth Olympic Games

The Coordination Commission for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Dakar 2026 concluded today (21 October) two days of virtual meetings that focused on the progress being made by the Local Organising Committee as it prepares to host the first-ever Olympic event on the African continent.

Speaking after the meeting, Coordination Commission Chair Kirsty Coventry said:

“We’re encouraged to see the progress being made by the team in Dakar during what has been an incredibly difficult period for humanity. This has been made possible by the solidarity shown across the Olympic Movement and through the support from stakeholders – further evidence that we are stronger together.”

She continued:

“Dakar 2026 now have a unique opportunity to further optimise their delivery plans, implementing efficiencies that will deliver Games fit for a post-corona world. It will be an event by, for and with the youth. Whilst the road may seem long and full of challenges, we look forward to supporting their efforts as part of a ‘one-team’ approach, focused on delivering the first Olympic event in Africa in six years’ time.”

Complementing Chair Coventry’s thoughts, President of the Senegalese National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSS) and IOC Member Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye said:

"With this postponement, the aim is to continue the excellent progress made so far, and to make the most of the four additional years. Emphasis will be placed on a large-scale mobilisation of youth from all regions of Senegal and their involvement in the organisation. They will thus be able to benefit from the preparatory activities and feel connected to the great celebration of the YOG Dakar 2026.”

The two-day meeting focused on the Organising Committee’s renewed plans, which now span over a six-year period after the Games were postponed, earlier this year, from 2022 to 2026.

By adapting the project to a new timeline, all parties have agreed to build on the positive progress to date. Notable highlights include the approval of the Edition Plan in July this year and the commitment to reach gender equality across all sports. It has also allowed for further integration of the recommendations outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020 and the New Norm, as Dakar 2026 and the IOC work together to deliver a YOG model that can be used as a blueprint for Senegal and for future hosts.

As part of the Local Organising Committee’s re-planning efforts, to reduce the impact of postponement it has strengthened its solidarity with the Olympic Movement and stakeholders by establishing several working groups. They will examine the new YOG delivery plan, which will identify different opportunities that align with Dakar 2026’s vision to create an event by, for and with the youth.

These optimisations are centred around training, engagement opportunities for local youngsters and transformation, through sport, of the cities, the country and, when possible, the African continent. With youth engagement at the heart of Dakar 2026, there has been a strong intention to carry out various education projects in the lead-up to the Games, such as the Athlete365 Education Programme at youth sporting events around the world and on the African continent. Dakar 2026 and the IOC agreed to actively use these opportunities to keep the public engaged in the YOG over the next six years.

In addition, Dakar 2026 outlined the continuation of site refurbishment and construction works over the coming months, with detailed operational planning to advance further in 2023. The YOG have evolved throughout the years and are now an established global elite sporting event that brings young people together from all over the world. They provide upcoming athletes with an environment in which they are encouraged to learn, share and build friendships, while supporting them to become the best they can be both on and off the field of play. The IOC and Dakar 2026 are confident the movement will continue to grow and flourish in the coming years.

Senegal and the IOC agree to postpone the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 to 2026

Senegal and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have mutually agreed to postpone the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Dakar 2022 to 2026.

President Macky Sall's proposal was welcomed by IOC President Thomas Bach, following in-depth discussions on the subject. This postponement meets the requirement of responsibility and the concern for efficiency imposed by current circumstances.

The postponement of Dakar 2022 allows the IOC, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the International Federations (IFs) to better plan their activities, which have been strongly affected by the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, by the subsequent postponements of major international sports events, and by the operational and financial consequences of the global health crisis.

At the same time, it allows Senegal to carry on the excellent preparations for the Youth Olympic Games. The two leaders, who praised the progress made so far, have jointly renewed their confidence in Dakar 2022 President Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, IOC Member in Senegal, and both remain fully committed to the great success of these Youth Olympic Games, the first Olympic event ever to be organised in Africa.

The IOC and Senegal understand that this news will be disappointing for many young athletes. Both parties can only appeal to their understanding. This agreement results from the large scale of the operational challenges which the IOC, the NOCs and the IFs are facing following the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. With this in mind, the IOC will continue to offer all IFs and NOC Continental Associations the full content of the educational programmes of the Youth Olympic Games. This will allow for the objectives of this very important and much-appreciated component of the YOG to be maintained through the many events organised between now and 2026, in particular during the Continental Youth Games.

“This amicable agreement illustrates the mutual trust between Senegal and the IOC. I would like to express my sincere thanks to President Macky Sall, a great friend and supporter of the Olympic Movement, for this exceptional relationship of trust and quality. For all these reasons, I am sure that, together, we will organise fantastic Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 for Senegal, the entire African continent and all the young athletes of the world,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

“I would like to reiterate that the IOC has my full support for the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games, postponed to 2026. I take this opportunity to reaffirm my confidence in the Executive Board and welcome the commitment of its teams, working side by side with us, to make Dakar 2026, the first Olympic event in Africa, a successful and memorable occasion”, said President Macky Sall.

The agreement was approved today by the IOC Executive Board, and will be submitted to the IOC Session for ratification this Friday, 17 July 2020.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) today approved the period of 22 October to 9 November 2022 for the 4th edition of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Dakar 2022. It will be the first Olympic event on the African continent.

The YOG period was chosen following an extensive consultation with the National Olympic Committees, International Federations and the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

For the large majority of athletes, the proposal better suits the school curriculum. From a climate standpoint, the YOG will take place at the beginning of the dry season. And for Dakar and Senegal, the dates coincide with Africa Youth Day (1 November), which is an important milestone in the calendar – school pupils will have more time to participate and contribute.

The IOC EB also approved the request from the Dakar 2022 Organising Committee to add baseball5 and wushu to the sports programme. This was examined by the Olympic Programme Commission, which deemed both sports an excellent opportunity to further increase the offering of youth-focused sports for the benefit of the Senegalese youth. Engagement of Senegal’s young population in sport remains a key pillar of Dakar 2022’s vision for the YOG.

Furthermore, the addition has the potential to further develop these two exciting sports in Africa, supported by comprehensive and well-resourced development programmes put in place with the two respective International Federations.

The inclusion of baseball5, along with the already-approved breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing, means that all sports from the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Organising Committees’ proposals are now included in the Dakar 2022 programme.

The Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Dakar 2022, Kirsty Coventry, said: “Preparations for the first Olympic event on the African continent are progressing rapidly and well on track. The first Coordination Commission meeting was successfully held in Dakar at the end of October last year, and we have reached important milestones with the two decisions today. With the dates and the sports programme confirmed, teams and athletes now have crucial information to refine their planning and aspire to take part in a historical event.”

Baseball5 has been approved for the programme as the youthful and new urban version of baseball/softball. The inclusion makes it the first Olympic team sport to be mixed gender, with four women and four men competing together for the medals. It is a sport that has been developed to be practised anywhere, and the World Baseball Softball Confederation has included a dedicated focus on Africa, with development and legacy plans in place.

This will be the first time that wushu has been included in the YOG sports programme, although it appeared at Nanjing 2014 as part of the Sports Lab activation. There will be two men’s and two women’s events on the programme. It is a popular youth-focused combat sport, with 120 million practitioners worldwide, and featured on the All-Africa Youth Games programme in 2018. The International Wushu Federation has 39 national federations in the African continent, with approximately 3 million athletes practising the sport according to the International Federation.

As per the full programme, the events and athlete quotas for the new sports are gender balanced, and capitalise on the two-wave-of-athletes approach to increase efficiency in the Athletes’ Village.

Although detailed venue planning discussions are due to take place with the relevant stakeholders, the events will take place in existing venues in order to optimise infrastructures and facilities. The Centre International de Conférences Abdou Diouf has been provisionally identified as the ideal location for both sports. The facility is 10 minutes from the Youth Olympic Village, adjacent to the Dakar Expo centre, and also hosts the archery field.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board today approved the sports and event programme for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Dakar 2022, which will see five sports join the initial 28 on the programme and full gender equality in terms of not only the number of athletes, but also the male and female representation in each sport and event for the first time in Olympic history.

Innovation and an ongoing focus on youth sport have been paramount for the athlete competition programme from the outset of the Youth Olympic Games. To follow the natural pathway of the Youth Olympian, Dakar 2022 will see inclusion of all the youth-focused sports proposed by Paris 2024: breaking, surfing, sport climbing and skateboarding. Highly popular youth-focused sports seen at previous YOG, such as futsal, basketball 3x3 and hockey 5s, will continue for 2022, while new events will also make their debut, such as beach wrestling, and the sport of karate will continue its YOG journey.

“The Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 will be the first Olympic event on the African continent which is historic for Senegal and historic for the continent of Africa. The agreed athlete competition is youthful and completely gender-balanced and shows that the IOC continues to develop the Youth Olympic Games that will feature over 4500 athletes from all NOCs.”, said IOC President Thomas Bach.

Following the initial athlete competition programme confirmation in March 2019, significant work has been undertaken by the IOC in parallel with the International Federations to reach a new milestone in gender equality across all sports, while helping to reduce costs and demands on the Dakar 2022 organisers. In particular, the sports of boxing, gymnastics and wresting will also reach gender parity for the first time.

In line with the New Norm approach to reduce the cost and complexity of the Games, the sports and event programme for Dakar 2022 will maintain the overall number of events (239) from Buenos Aires 2018, while reducing the Youth Olympic Village capacity from 4,000 athletes to 2,650 via the introduction of the two waves of athletes system. This will allow for an increase in athlete participation to over 4,500 without any additional impact on infrastructure.

Existing venues have been identified for each sport to ensure that the Youth Olympic Games are adapted to the local environment by maximising existing, temporary or shared venues, such as a temporary venue for hockey, a coastal programme for canoe and rowing, and the first beach start and open-water swim for modern pentathlon at the YOG.

To ensure alignment with the elite level youth pathway, all sports are considered with the natural progression of the athlete in mind.  Each International Federation has proposed formats for Dakar 2022 that represent a natural progression in the careers of the young athletes and onto the Olympic stage.

For more information on the full programme

Dakar 2022 takes important steps towards the first Youth Olympic Games ever organised in Africa
Dakar 2022 held discussions with representatives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission on its first visit to the Senegalese capital since the city was awarded the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games.

Dakar, Senegal, was selected as host by the IOC just over one year ago, based on its vision to create a transformative project, shining a global light on the emergence of the country and the continent and putting young people at the forefront of its strategic planning.

During a three-day visit, which concluded today, the IOC and Dakar 2022 comprehensively reviewed all aspects of the preparations. Highlights included the presentation by a specific working group of the ideas that will enable the delivery of the vision, mission and objectives, along with an ambitious legacy plan to ensure the YOG will benefit the city, the country and the whole continent long after the Games conclude.

In line with the “Senegal Emerging Plan” drawn up by the Senegalese government, Dakar 2022 aims to not only put Senegal on the global map for international sporting events, but also showcase the best of Africa, blazing the trail for future initiatives on the continent.

Detailed planning is well underway as part of a co-constructive Edition Plan, a new way of working inspired by the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 and New Norm, whereby the local team works in close partnership with the IOC teams to create a joint roadmap until Games time, and builds several concepts of plans and operations for the selected sites, while benefiting from the knowledge and systems in place from previous YOG.

The Coordination Commission members were particularly impressed with the level of preparation and detail in the planning of every task on the project so far.

The site tour included visits to two of the three competition locations, including Dakar city centre and the futuristic Diamniadio district, which is planned to host close to one-third of the sports on the programme and will be the location of the athletes’ village (YOV), which is being built as future student housing. Ground has already been broken on the YOV, with the build underway and on track. Several YOG events will also take place in the city of Saly, whose representatives attended the three-day meeting.

With sustainability at the heart of the YOG and the use of as many existing sites as possible, the IOC praised the quality of venues and the detailed planning in place for some renovations that will provide for a youth-driven, exciting and urban sports programme. Dakar 2022 also highlighted its plan to rely on public transport and railways as much as possible for all participants.

IOC member in Morocco and member of the Dakar 2022 Coordination Commission Nawal El Moutawakel said: “It is truly invigorating to see the first Olympic event in Africa take shape in front of us. All the teams here have made solid progress towards their goal to showcase a modern and dynamic Senegal through the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022.”

“After this first visit, we are confident that the very close cooperation between Dakar 2022, the Ministry of Sports, the National Olympic Committee of Senegal [CNOSS], the cities of Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly, the national sports federations and the IOC teams will lead to the delivery of a unique Olympic experience, not only for all the young athletes participating, but also for Senegal and Africa. We also appreciate the strong support of President Macky Sall,” she added.

Ibrahima Wade, Dakar 2022 General Coordinator, said: “We were delighted to share with the members of the IOC Coordination Commission the results of all the work that has been achieved over the past 12 months, as part of a co-construction approach between the IOC teams and those of the CNOSS and Dakar 2022.”

“We have made significant progress in the preparation of the YOG Dakar 2022, and the satisfaction expressed by the Commission members at the end of their visit will encourage us to carry on our work,” he added.

In addition to laying out key milestones and the framework for the structure of the Organising Committee, which will now be expanded, Dakar 2022 also outlined the support it has in place from government at all levels which will be fundamental to the success of the Games, as well as working groups made up of over 100 individuals involved in the project.

Welcoming the members of the Coordination Commission, Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, President of the CNOSS and an IOC member, recalled that “in keeping with the spirit of partnership and collaboration, Dakar 2022 has also recently signed several collaboration agreements with, amongst others, Paris 2024 and the French Agency of Development (AFD), around areas of co-construction and knowledge-sharing to mutually benefit from each edition of the Games.”

“I very much appreciated the co-construction approach with the IOC, and we agreed together to make this spirit of partnership prevail throughout the Dakar 2022 project management process,” he continued.

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