The first and only international multisport event for school sport athletes (ISF Gymnasiade 2024) in the Middle East to be held in Bahrain in October 2024.
The Executive Organising Committee of the ISF Gymnasiade 2024 announced its one-year countdown during a press conference in Manama.
The conference organised by the International School Sport Federation (ISF).
It will be held in October 2024, under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The ISF Gymnasiade 2024 in Bahrain is expected to draw an unprecedented participation of nearly 5,000 students from more than 80 countries.
During the conference, His Excellency Mr. Laurent Petrynka, the President of ISF, stressed the federation’s deep commitment to the region, noting: “We are grateful that Bahrain has taken the lead to premiere the biggest school sport event worldwide here in the Middle East next year.
The ISF Gymnasiade is an important intersection of sports, education, and cultural exchange, fostering invaluable experiences for youth worldwide. I also want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for his visionary commitment to the advancement of school sports and unity, which has paved the way for this significant milestone. I am optimistic that this marks the beginning of a wonderful journey of collaboration for ISF within the region.”
Mr. Hrvoje Custonja, the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General of ISF, added: “Over the course of five decades, ISF has been steadfast in our mission to enrich education through the power of sports, promoting the holistic physical and mental well-being of our youth. ISF proudly engages with a vast network of 200,000 schools across 134 member countries and is recognised by the International Olympic Committee. It is a distinct privilege to be met with a shared dedication to the Olympic spirit here in Bahrain, our esteemed host for the biggest-ever ISF Gymnasiade to date and its first visit to the Middle East.”
For his part, Mr. Ishaq Abdullah Ishaq, Chairman of the Executive Organising Committee for the ISF Gymnasiade 2024, presented a brief detailing the completed preparations for Bahrain’s hosting of the ISF Gymnasiade 2024, including all medical, security, operations, and technical plans for hosting such iconic large-scale event, in which 5,000 students from more than 80 countries are expected to participate over 10 days.
Mr. Ishaq announced that the ISF Local Organising Committee is looking to add more games, along with the existing 25 different sports that include archery, badminton, basketball 3×3, beach volleyball, boxing, fencing, gymnastics, handball, judo, karate, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, and wrestling, among others. Additionally, the launch of the Bahrain webpage on the ISF website was announced during the conference, which will add to the global audience’s accessibility to the latest updates on the ISF Gymnasiade 2024.
The Chairman of the Executive Organising Committee added that, since launching the nationwide volunteer campaign on August 6, 2023, more than 900 applicants had registered to participate in organising next year’s monumental event. Volunteers will be stationed across the island at the wide array of tourist, cultural, and educational areas on the sites allocated to the ISF Gymnasiade 2024.
Commenting on the value of partnerships as enablers of sports and sports participation, he said: “We witnessed numerous global partnerships in support of the realisation of next year’s ISF Gymnasiade, with the American University of Bahrain’s fantastic facilities being among the 14 facilities across the island that have had their sites dedicated for the various games and activities at the ISF Gymnasiade 2024.”
Ishaq highlighted that the Kingdom of Bahrain is committed to creating the ecosystem most conducive for the success of this event to reflect not only the Kingdom’s position on the global sports map but also to demonstrate the remarkable ability of the country and its people to host and participate in the largest and most premier of international sport events.
An important focus for the ISF Gymnasiade Bahrain 2024 will be on “Legacy & Sustainability” and raising long-term awareness among generations of youth on the importance of sport and physical activity. Leaving behind a legacy, the ISF Gymnasiade Bahrain 2024 will be an opportunity to create a starting point for school students in their journey in sport, whether it be high-level or casual engagement.