(ATR) The Pan American Sports Organization created the Pan American Sport Festival to bring together coaches, athletes, and international judges for competition and knowledge transfer.
Originally called the Pan American Olympic Festival, the event will take place all over Mexico during July, August, and September. For 23 sports in the Pan American program there will be training camps, coaching clinics, and competition in different venues across Mexico.
The idea was originally proposed by PASO President Mario Vasquez Rana, and was approved at the PASO assembly in Toronto last October.
Training camps will range from three to eight days, with two to three days devoted to coaching clinics and knowledge transfers with international officials. The competition schedules varies based on sport to sport.
Around 3,200 athletes from 41 countries will travel to Mexico to train and compete as part of the festival. It is not a centrally organized festival; rather it will use existing sport facilities around the whole country.
“There are going to be 10 states participating and it’s an important commitment for the states, for the sports institutes from each states, the Mexican Olympic committee and the ministry of sport,” Horacio de la Vega, Director General of the Pan Am Festival, told Around the Rings
Rowing is one of the sports with Toronto 2015 qualifiers (Getty Images)
“Each and every athlete that comes here is fully sponsored by us,” said de la Vega regarding travel, accommodation, and other expenses.
Not each country will send athletes for every sport, and the largest delegations are expected from the United States and Brazil. Both countries are expected to send between 400-500 athletes in their delegations.
Bowling, canoe slalom, canoe sprint, cycling, wrestling, modern pentathlon, racquetball, rowing, squash table tennis, archery and triathlon competitions will serve as qualifiers for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. No competition will serve as a qualifier for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
PASO has not said whether the event will continue, but according to de la Vega “the idea is that we make this an important event. Let’s see how it is going to fit.”
“It’s an event that we are investing a lot of money with Pan American Games and our other big events because we really focus on the athletes," says de la Vega.
Written by Aaron Bauer
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