Second YOG network pilot event in Barcelona
The Buenos Aires 2018 Canoeing World Qualification event taking place in Barcelona has a special YOG flavour. Not just because it will help decide who will be the 64 canoe athletes competing in Argentina next October, but also because the days leading up to the competition have been full of educational activities, mirroring what is accomplished at the Youth Olympic Games. In fact, the canoe event is the second pilot event of the so-called “YOG network” governed by the IOC with the help of the International Federations.
The YOG network is a direct result of recommendation 25 of Olympic Agenda 2020. Following the approval of the recommendations of the YOG Tripartite Working Group at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016, one of the steps was to create a network of youth sporting events. This would help increase the number of young elite athletes with access to useful educational information and create a more coherent Learning Pathway for them. The first pilot event was held in Rosario, Argentina, in October 2017 at the Archery Youth World Championships.
The competition part of the YOG Canoeing World Qualification starts on 12 April. In the training days leading up to it, athletes present have been able to take part in different educational activities organised by the IOC in close collaboration with the International Canoe Federation (ICF), including the following:
- “Draw the line”, about abuses in sport
- “Sport up your life”, to help define a career in sport
- Performance accelerator, which will be a test for Buenos Aires 2018
- Athlete Career Programme (workshop)
In addition to these activities, canoe stars Jessica Fox (YOG athlete and medallist, Young Ambassador, London 2012 and Rio 2016 medallist) and Henriette Engel Hansen (Buenos Aires 2018 Athlete Role Model) were present in Barcelona to give some advice to the young athletes and share some of their own experiences as top athletes, as well as inspire young athletes with the many opportunities sport has to offer.