By Nader Adnan
Bahrain will host the International School Sport Federation (ISF) Gymnasiade, also known as the School Summer Games, in October 2024.
ISF president Laurent Petrynka made the announcement yesterday in a Press conference hosted by his organisation in the presence of Supreme Council for Youth and Sport first deputy chairman, General Sports Authority chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The ISF is an international non-profit sports organisation that organises international grassroots and competitive sports events for students aged six to 16. With 134 member associations, it is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The ISF Gymnasiade is the only international multi-sport event dedicated for school athletes. It aims to encourage high-level competition and the desire for a healthy lifestyle and the spirit of fair play in student athletes.
There are two age categories in the Gymnasiade: one for students aged 13 to 15 and the second for those whose ages fall between 16 and 18 years. Bahrain will be hosting the latter.
The event will last 10 days, with more than 80 countries and 5,000 students taking part in 25 different sporting disciplines.
Athletics, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, badminton, basketball and chess will be some of the sports on display while paddle tennis will be included in the Gymnasiade for the first time.
It is expected to be the largest sporting event ever held in the kingdom in terms of the number of participants.
The opening ceremony will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit.
The Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) will be sending teams to this event. It is the sole national university sports federation recognized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), a university-based, Olympics-style competitions participated in by the sports powers in the world such as Russia, China, Korea, Germany and the United States.