The Youth Elite Scheme
The Youth Elite Scheme aims to provide opportunities to prepare, and support the most promising young athletes on a journey to becoming future medallists for Malta. Through the Scheme, talented athletes will be given the opportunity to maximise their potential and achieve their personal best by supporting and adding value to an athlete’s current plan with their personal coach.
While regular, quality coaching is a key ingredient to progress, the programmes will look to ensure all athletes develop the necessary key areas for their event relating to lifestyle, preparation, performance, physical, mental, tactical and technical aspects. The pool of athletes was chosen based on their current performances and following discussions with their coaches and National Federations. Athletes were placed into fourtiers of funding– Youth Elite, Youth Development, Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) and Intermediate Elite.
The Scheme is divided into four categories – Youth Elite aimed towards ahletes who are under 18 years of age and are already highly ranked on a World or European Level. Youth Development – grouping those athletes under 18 years of age who are already obtaining good results in international competitions, Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) for those under 18 athletes, who are excelling in their sport and have the potential to develop into Youth Elite athletes. A new category – Intermediate Elite, will support athletes who previously fell under the Youth Elite category but who have now reached 18 years of age but are still progressing well in their sport. An additional benefit introduced this year was support towards gym memberships. This was introduced since many athletes were hindered from travelling due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Youth Olympic Games
“By creating the Youth Olympic Games, the IOC played its role as a catalyst for the sports movement. It showed that its commitment to the youth of today and tomorrow is about action, not just words, by offering them an event of their own in the spirit of the Olympic Games.” – Jacques Rogge IOC President
The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is an international multi-sport event organized by the International Olympic Committee. The Games are held every four years in staggered summer and winter events consistent with the current Olympic Games format. The first summer version was held in Singapore from 14 to 26 August 2010 while the first winter version was held in Innsbruck, Austria from 13 to 22 January 2012.
The age limitation of the athletes is 14 to 18 years of age. The idea of such an event was introduced by Johann Rosenzopf from Austria in 1998. On 6 July 2007, International Olympic Committee (IOC) members at the 119th IOC session in Guatemala City approved the creation of a youth version of the Olympic Games.
These Games will also feature cultural exchange programs and opportunities for participants to meet Olympic athletes. Several other Olympic events for youth, like the European Youth Olympic Festival held every other year with summer and winter versions, and the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, have proven successful. The Youth Games are modelled after these sporting events. The YOG are also a successor to the discontinued World Youth Games. The Summer Youth Olympic Games of Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing in 2014 each played host to 3600 athletes and lasted 13 days, whereas the Winter YOG of Innsbruck in 2012 had 1059 athletes and Lillehammer in 2016 had 1100 athletes and lasted 10 days.
Commonwealth Youth Games
Since the inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games held in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2000, the event has grown immensely from a mere 14 countries participating to a whopping 71 nations and territories. More than 1,300 young athletes, coaches and supporters will descend on the island of New Providence in The Bahamas next July for the sixth installment of the games.
All competitors in the Commonwealth Youth Games will be a minimum of 14 and maximum of 18 in the year of competition (i.e, their 18th birthday is during the calendar year in which the Games is held).
The second edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games took place in Bendigo, Australia in December 2004 and saw over 1000 athletes and officials from 22 countries in a 10-sport programme. The third Youth Games were held in the Indian city of Pune from 12 – 18 October 2008 where 71 nations and territories participated in 9 sports.
A decision was taken by the Commonwealth Games Federation at their General Assembly in 2005 to move the Youth Games outside of the Olympic Games year and in doing so awarded the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games to the Isle of Man. A decision was taken at the General Assembly in 2008 to award the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games to Samoa (5-11 September 2015) and also to subsequently adjust the quadrennial cycle, so that future events will take place in 2017, 2021 and so on.
European Youth Olympic Festival
Thanks to an initiative of Dr. Jacques Rogge, in 1990 the European Olympic Committees launched the “European Youth Olympic Days” (EYOD), now called “European Youth Olympic Festival” (EYOF) a biennial; multi-sport event for talented young participants from the 48 member countries of the association of European Olympic Committees. The festival has a summer edition, held for the first time in Brussels in 1991, and a winter edition, which began two years later in Aosta.
The nine Olympic sports that are part of the EYOF are: athletics, basketball, cycling, gymnastics, handball, judo, gymnastics, swimming, tennis and volleyball. All these sports are regulated by the rules set by the international sports federation.