On June 1, ‘Baku 2019’ Operations Committee and National Olympic Committee, with support of Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan held a special event to celebrate 50 days to go until the start of ‘Baku 2019’ XV Summer European Youth Olympic Festival and 125th Anniversary of the modern Olympic movement.
As the event coincided with the International Children’s Day, ‘Baku 2019’ EYOF Operations Committee invited 500 children, participating in one of the most important parts of the festival, Olympic Culture and Education Programme (OCEP), to the Athletes Village.
“The participation of children at today's event is very important, because in addition to technical and operational preparations, we also set the goal of promoting the idea of sport among children. We would like to see as many children involved in sport and leading a healthy lifestyle as possible,” said Azad Rahimov, the Minister of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan and ‘Baku 2019’ EYOF chief executive.
Chingiz Huseynzada, Vice President of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan, said the Olympic values of friendship, mutual respect, peace and excellence were a great message to promote at the Baku EYOF, which he stressed would have historical meaning for Azerbaijan.
Deputy Minister of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan Firudin Gurbanov stressed, that such international programs as Olympic Culture and Education Program (OCEP) have a great importance in the comprehensive development of schoolchildren and shaping their world view.
“Ready to Shine” campaign was launched during the event as well. Campaign welcomes anyone aged 13 – 16 to participate in five kinds of sport – basketball, cycling, athletics, tennis, and swimming. Each federation will announce open doors events to all participants for five weeks.
Corporate Director of EYOF ‘Baku 2019’ Elchin Safarov noted that this campaign have several goals, such as popularisation of various kinds of sports amongst kids and teenagers, as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle and strengthening friendship with athletes.
Children with the best results will get an opportunity to participate in XV ‘Baku 2019’ Summer European Youth Olympic Festival from the inside.
“All children are invited to the event. Winners will have a chance to communicate, train and get advices from the proffesional athletes and their coaches. These advices can be helpful in shaping children’s mind, especially at this age, when they need motivation to fulfill their dreams,” said Elchin Safarov.
Athletics, Basketball, Tennis and Cycling Federations gave interactive presentations and discussed interesting facts about each kind of sport.
To celebrate modern Olympic movement and 125th Anniversary of the National Olympic Committee the running competition was organized at the Athletes Village. 500 students from 49 schools, participating in European Youth Olympic Festival’s Olympic Culture and Education Programme (OCEP), competed in a 1 km distance run.
The winners were presented with the gifts and certificates.
Students participating in Olympic Culture and Education Program (OCEP) were taken on a tour of the Athletes Village and introduced to the living, entertainment and exercise areas the athletes will enjoy this July.
The EYOF will feature seven days of competition in 10 sports such as wrestling, tennis, basketball, handball, swimming, volleyball, cycling, athletics, artistic gymnastics, judo at 12 competition venues, all of which are already existing, making this edition of the EYOF also one of the most sustainable. Wrestling will join the EYOF programme for the first time this year.
Some 3,600 athletes and team officials are expected to take part in Baku 2019, assisted by 2,500 volunteers.