The second edition of the “Adriatic and Ionian Macroregion Youth Games” will be held in Ancona next 15-18 June. The event is again promoted and organized by the City of Ancona with the support of Marche Region, the Forum of Adriatic and Ionian Cities, the School Authority Office for the Marche Region, the CONI, the local Port Authority, the Chamber of Commerce of Ancona, the Italian Navy, the Secretariat for the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, the AICCRE (Italian Association of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions –CEMR) and Network Città Sane.

More than 1000 athletes (15-16 years old) coming from eight countries of the Adriatic and Ionian Macroregion will participate in this event. The participating countries, besides Italy are Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. The athletes and their chaperones come from at least 20 cities from all over the Macroregion. The Forum of the Cities has identified some leading cities among the members of its Steering Committee such as Durres, Koper, Kotor, Mostar, Patras, Sabac and Split. The hope is that the Greece city of Olympia, whence the Olympic torch is about to leave for Rio de Janeiro, will also join the group.

The athletes will compete in thirteen different sporting disciplines (athletics, basketball, football, handball, rhythmic gymnastics, water polo, rugby, fencing, taekwondo, tennis, sailing, volleyball andbeach-volley), in 20 different sports facilities all around Ancona. Among them, the rugby field opened in 2015 is worth mentioning. Each sports delegation can decide to take part in all disciplines or only in some of them.

As in the last edition, the Games, in collaboration with Luca Savoiardi from the Italian Paralympic Committee, will involve the participation of sports competitions for disabled people: a demonstration of sitting volley is foreseen.

Nevertheless, the Youth Games it is not only a sports event. In fact, all athletes and their chaperones will have many other opportunities to gather: they will eat together in a large marquee set up in Piazza Pertini (Pertini Square) and they will be all accommodated in Modern Sports Halls such as Palaindoor and Palascherma, as two years ago.

During the Games, a few days before the World Refugee Day, a special moment will be dedicated to the dramatic situation of migrants, in order to awaken the youth to this subject.

To sum up, the “Adriatic and Ionian Macroregion Youth Games 2016” wants to reconfirm the enthusiasm of the first edition and its aim: to enhance awareness and sense of belonging of youth, as well as cities, sports associations and schools to the Adriatic and Ionian Macroregion.

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