Dakar en Jeux festival celebrates build up to 2026 Youth Olympic Games, Baseball5 Olympic debut

Dakar en Jeux festival celebrates build up to 2026 Youth Olympic Games, Baseball5 Olympic debut
The opening of the festival will mark exactly three years before the Opening Ceremony of the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games, from 31 October until 14 November.

The Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (YOGOC) announced the second edition of the Dakar en Jeux festival, a series of cultural and sporting events to take place from 31 October to 4 November. The festival will take place every year until the YOG in 2026.

“After the amazing success of the inaugural edition in 2022, Dakar is gearing up for another incredible celebration and lots of excitement, as we look forward to the Youth Olympic Games in 2026,” said Kirsty Coventry, the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Dakar 2026. “The festival isn't just about showcasing sports; it's also about embracing the values of the Youth Olympic Games and building bridges between communities.”

Baseball5, WBSC’s new urban and youth-focused discipline, will make its Olympic debut in the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games, the fourth edition of the global multi-sport event. Senegal will become the first African nation to host an Olympic Games event. 

The latest Baseball5 rankings has demonstrated Baseball5’s popularity and support in the African sports community with two nations in the top-five (No. 4 Tunisia and No. 5 South Africa), and a total of 11 African nations featured in the ranking (24% of the total). 

Ankara, Türkiye, was awarded the hosting rights of the inaugural WBSC Youth Baseball5 World Cup, set to take place from 10 to 15 October 2023, just two weeks before the Dakar en Jeux festival. The second edition of this event, scheduled for 2026, will serve as a qualifier for the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games.

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are the ultimate youth multi-sport event, inviting the world’s best young athletes aged between 15 and 18 years to compete, learn and share every four years in both summer and winter editions. 

In 2022, in the first edition of the Dakar en Jeux festival, more than 1,500 athletes took part in 26 sports initiations and demonstrations over eight days. Alongside the sporting elements, around 30 artists performed at numerous concerts and cultural activities. In total, 10 of thousands of people attended the festivities in Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly.