the united nations international youth day shines a light on lausanne 2020
Today marks International Youth Day, designated by the United Nations to celebrate the young people and youth-led organisations who are working to transform education and inspire young people around the world.
The theme of this year’s International Youth Day is “Transforming Education”, which is rooted in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Within sport, youth engagement and educational development has been a key focus for leading sports organisations. As a result, the Youth Olympic Games have continued to grow and become a platform, not only for young people to succeed on the field of play, but also to inspire others around the world.
From 9-22 January 2020, the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will take place in the Olympic Capital of Lausanne. Lausanne 2020 will see 70% more athletes taking part than at the inaugural Winter YOG in Innsbruck eight years ago, and is aiming for 100% gender equality, with 940 men and 940 women taking part.
One of the key goals for Lausanne 2020 was to collaborate with local schools and universities to expand their commitment to young people by developing their educational programme.
As well as the experience of competing in an elite environment, athletes will also have the opportunity to learn more about nutrition, media, and medical services, as part of Lausanne 2020’s educational programme.
“The YOG provides young athletes with a real Olympic adventure and gives them the possibility to experience what an international multi-sports event is,” Virginie Faivre, President of Lausanne 2020, said. “It serves as a springboard for their career as elite athletes and offers a solid basis for sporting event of a bigger scale, such as the Olympic Games.”
Starting next month, Lausanne will hold a series of events under the banner “Lausanne en Jeux”, offering great festival exhibitions for all at local museums on sport and Olympism.
“Everything we do at Lausanne 2020 is meant to have a long term and positive impact, whether it relates to sports, sports infrastructures, youth, host city infrastructure,” Faivre added.
“Nothing we are doing for the Games is just for the Games. It is by focusing on this today, that we will be a successful tomorrow.”
GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli praised the work of Lausanne 2020 and reinforced GAISF’s commitment to supporting International Federations (IFs), particularly in their sustainable development initiatives.
“The role that Lausanne 2020 will play in the lives of these young athletes and volunteers will be crucial and with lifelong learnings,” President Chiulli said. “Youth events at all levels are fundamental to the future of sport, providing unrivalled opportunities for young people to unite, regardless of faith, race, culture, beliefs, gender and ability.
“GAISF’s role is to support IFs in launching youth programmes, thus broadening the sporting participation base globally and discovering new talents.”
To find out more about the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, click here.