Sports city Cali to host pathway event to 2023 senior PanAm Games
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad International Correspondent
Squash is one of 30 sports selected to participate in the inaugural Junior Pan American Games next year in the Colombian city of Cali.
The Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games will take place from June 5-20, with all 41 PanAm Sports member nations and more than 4,000 athletes expected to participate.
The full programme will feature 45 disciplines, and all gold medallists in individual sports will automatically qualify for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. Additionally, the gold medallists in the majority of the Team Sports will obtain a quota for their respective countries to the Games in Chile.
It was at the PanAm Sports Executive Committee meeting in Puerto Rico last week, which was preceded by a meeting of the Sports Development Commission, that the official programme of the Cali Junior Games was defined.
“This will be an important boost to sports development in the region,” said PanAm Sports President Neven Ilic. “We want it to be a festival, we want our athletes to advance and stay motivated with these Junior Pan American Games. With this goal, we have determined that the winner of the gold medal of each discipline will automatically qualify to the 2023 Pan American Games.”
Federacion Panamericana de Squash (FPS) President Francisco Paradisi said: “We are most grateful to the PanAm Sports Executive Committee for including squash in the 2021 Junior Games – and we will ensure that the squash tournament in Cali will showcase the best juniors of the Americas and contribute to the success of this event.
“Colombia has already established itself as one of the strongest squash nations in the Pan Am region. The country’s women’s team have been medallists in the three recent PanAm Championships, while the men were silver medallists last year and took gold in 2007, so it is entirely appropriate that the sport should make its Junior Games debut in Cali.”
World Squash Federation President Jacques Fontaine is delighted by the announcement: “This is wonderful news for squash in the PanAm region and globally. Our Federation is committed to support the inclusion of our sport in major multi-sport events and I’m convinced these Junior Games in Cali will be a spectacular platform to spotlight the amazing athleticism and appeal of our sport.”
According to Wikipedia, Santiago de Cali, south-west of Bogota, is recognised as the sports capital of Colombia. It is the first Colombian city to have hosted the Pan American Games (in 1971), and the city also has one of the most developed sports infrastructures in the country. Many major sporting events have taken place there.
For further information re the Cali Games, visit www.panamsports.org/sport-events/cali-2021-junior-panam-american-games/
Pictures courtesy of WSF