Dhaka is going to be graced with thousands of young talented athletes for one week, coming from different places of the country from different sports disciplines for the final phase of the first ever multi-disciplined mega youth sports event, the Bangladesh Youth Games, which is all set to get underway at more than a dozen venues in Dhaka Saturday.
More than 2,500 young athletes aged under 17, who made it all the way to the final stage after competing in two phases in their respective district and divisional rounds in December and January respectively, will take part in 21 disciplines at around 17 venues of the capital.
Chief patroniser of the mega event, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will announce the official inauguration of the event’s final stage at one of the major venues, Bangabandhu National Stadium Saturday evening. Commonwealth Games gold medalist Asif Hossain Khan is nominated to light the Games’ torch soon after the inauguration.
The venue will be open for public from 4:00pm to 5:30pm, after which the opening ceremony will begin, which includes DJ show, audio-visual displays, mascot parade, dance and musical performances, followed by laser show and fireworks. The BNS, which will host the events of athletics, already unleashed a colourful outlook ahead of the Games.
Highest 10 venues at the historical Paltan maidan will host the majority of the disciplines. Along with kabaddi, hockey, handball, volleyball, boxing stadiums as well as the chess federation hall-room hosting their own events, the National Sports Council gymnasium will hold weightlifting and taekwondo, newly-built roller skating complex will field wrestling and wushu events while badminton and table tennis will take place at the wooden-floor indoor stadium.
Mirpur indoor stadium (judo) and swimming complex, squash court at the BAF Shaheen School, Gulshan Shooting Complex, Shaheed Ahsanullah Stadium in Tongi (archery) and the indoor of BKSP (basketball) will host the other events. The football matches are already rolling at Kamalapur Stadium since Wednesday.
Organised by Bangladesh Olympic Association, the responsibilities were also distributed among the 21 respective federations in order to hold the event successfully, by providing accommodation to the participants, along with daily wages and transportation. Co-ordinating with the federations, the BOA also formed a technical committee to sort out the best athletes from the event in order to achieve their core aim - finding the top young athletes of the country and nurture them for the future.
Meanwhile, the first phase of the country's largest youth sports event was held from December 18 to 24 last year with the participation of around 23,000 athletes in 64 districts and upazilas, from where 6,708 athletes qualified for the second phase that took place in eight divisions from January 8 to 13. The final phase will see 2,660 athletes, representing their respective divisions, compete for medals in a total of 159 events including six teams’ disciplines. A total of 340 gold and as many silver medals, as well as 430 bronzes, will be distributed throughout the event.