Rwanda: 130 Young Athletes to Start Early Preps for Dakar 2026

25 December 2022

A total of 130 young athletes were identified to start early preparations for the 2026 Youth Olympic Games that will take place in Dakar, Senegal.

The athletes were selected in four games namely swimming, tennis, table tennis and cycling in a series of selection activities held by concerned federations in partnership with the Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC).

The youngsters were selected from 372 who participated in the first phase of the "Youth Athlete Development Programme 2021-2024" that took place in various parts of Rwanda between October and December.

Selected athletes are aged between 10 and 14 years.

According to information from RNOSC, they will benefit from a series of national training camps over the next four years and will be exposed to various international federations training opportunities ahead of the Dakar 2026 Olympic Youth Games and other future international competitions such as the African Youth Games 2026, which is set to take place in Maseru, Lesotho.

The athletes selected to start preparations for Dakar 2026 include 30 from swimming, 40 in Table Tennis, 30 from Tennis and 30 in cycling.

Rwanda Swimming Federation held its Youth Athlete Identification on 22 October 2022 and on 10 November 2022 in Karongi district and the City of Kigali respectively where 30 athletes were selected from 134 who attended the selection exercise.

In Table Tennis, the federation in charge selected 40 from 80 players who attended the selection exercise held from October 29 to November 13 in Bugesera and Rubavu Districts as well as the City of Kigali.

The Tennis governing body also held a similar selection exercise where 30 young tennis players were selected from a possible 85 that attended the activity held from November 12-13 at IPRC-Kigali Tennis Court.

Cycling is also one of the selected National Sports Federations to be part of the "Youth Athlete Development Programme 2021-2024".

To identify young athletes to join early preparations for the 2026 Dakar Youth Olympic Games, the cycling federation also organized a "Youth Athlete Identification" on 04 December 2022 at Gasore Serge Foundation in Bugesera district and two more selection activities held in Musanze and Huye districts a week later.

The activity saw 30 out 73 participants selected to continue the programme.

RNOSC will continue working closely with concerned federations in supporting selected young athletes by organizing training camps for them, helping them to participate in qualifying tournaments and international competitions.

The Dakar 2026 Summer Youth Olympics, officially known as the IV Summer Youth Olympic Games and commonly known as Dakar 2026, will be the fourth edition of the Summer Youth Olympics, an international sports, education and cultural festival for teenagers, in a city designated by the International Olympic Committee.

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