SUN SPORTS WRITES
ATHLETES have been urged to maintain a competitive spirit in spite of the cancellation of the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games.
In a statement, National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) President Alfred Foloko stated that the postponement of the Youth Olympics would not deter them from supporting young athletes.
“The 2022 Youth Games may be postponed amid the widespread disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic but that is not to say they will never be any sporting event in the future.
Let me reiterate that you will always have the full support of NOCZ for future events,” Foloko said. He stated that NOCZ received the news of the Dakar Youth Olympic Games postponement from 2022 to 2026 with a sense of deep regret.
“The news has come at a time when the NOCZ was eagerly looking forward to seeing young budding Zambian talent break international records at the first-ever IOC event to be staged in the soils of mother Africa,” he said.
“This being an age-restricted event it goes without saying that those who could have been part of the 244 events in 35 sports disciplines may not be eligible to showcase their skills and talent four years later at the fourth edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2026 in Senegal.”
Foloko has reiterated the intention of NOCZ to support young athletes, who were supposed to be ambassadors at the just postponed 2022 games and will not be eligible to be flag bearers at the 2026 Youth Games.
“Please be assured that NOCZ has your best interest at heart and that we share in your frustration. As young sportsmen and women never should you lose hope but remain steadfast, focused, and resolute as we look together to the future with hope,” he said.
Foloko has urged young athletes to remain resilient and committed to national service.