(ATR) Organizers of the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics will seek to assure IOC officials over the next two days that fast-track preparations for the Games are running on schedule amid the deepening international financial crisis.
With the credit crunch impacting organizers of the next three Olympics in Vancouver, London and Sochi, IOC Coordination Commission chair Sergey Bubka and his team will likely place special emphasis on the city-state's financial planning.
Members of the delegation will visit venues and hold meetings with Singapore 2010 chair Ng Ser Miang, CEO Goh Kee Nguan and their colleagues to scrutinize every element of Games planning. Essar Gabriel, the IOC's head of the Youth Olympics, and Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli are part of the inspection team.
Prior to the visit, Singapore organizers told Around the Rings that the financial crisis is not delaying progress.
“Preparations for the Youth Olympic Games are currently on track. The Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Commitee has come to the end of its foundation planning and we have begun operational planning,” a Singapore 2010 spokesman said.
“We are mindful of the need to keep the costs of organizing the Games at a reasonable level, and we remain committed to host a successful Games in August 2010.”
Following Singapore's summer decision to abandon plans for a new and costly Olympic village in favor of the existing Nanyang Technological University campus, IOC officials are expected to voice their satisfaction with the venues and infrastructure for the Games. Singapore will use 24 venues for the 26 sports on the YOG program.
Along with financial affairs, the sports program and education and cultural elements of the inaugural YOG will be high on the agenda.
“The official competition formats and qualification system are being finalized between the IOC and the respective IFs,” the spokesman said. “The IFs will inform their respective national federations after the format and rules are confirmed.”
Each national Olympic committee is allowed to send a maximum of 70 athletes to compete in the YOG. About 3,200 athletes aged 14-18 years will participate in the 26 sports.
IOC officials may also be asked to sign off on a new logo for Singapore 2010; it will be launched early next year.
One of the first items of business Thursday is the official unveiling of the YOG Learning Centre at SYOGOC headquarters. Bubka will open the new project with the Minister for Defense and Singapore National Olympic Council President Teo Chee Hean.
Featuring exhibits that illustrate the spirit of Olympism, the two-story YOG Learning Centre is a place where young people can discover more about the Olympic Movement and Olympic values as well as Singapore’s progress towards hosting the 2010 Games.
The center will serve as an important resource for the Olympic education program and the volunteer training program. In the long term, the venue will be integrated into the Sports Museum at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Singapore's Ministry of Education has developed an Olympic education resource package for primary, secondary and pre-university students to introduce them to the Olympic values and encourage sports participation among young people. The program will be launched at the end of the year.
IOC inspectors will also be updated about Singapore's preparations to host the inaugural Asian Youth Games taking place July 2-9, 2009. The dress rehearsal for the YOG has a program of eight sports. While the Singapore Sports Council and Ministry of Education are leading the organization of the event – a feature of Singapore's YOG bid plan – YOG 2010 officials will play an important part.
With reporting from Mark Bisson
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