Coastal rowing is about to get a whole lot younger. The International Olympic Committee has announced that coastal rowing will feature at the 2022 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) to be held in Senegal.
The Beach Sprint format will be utilised, with the coastal junior men’s and women’s solos, junior men’s and women’s doubles and the junior mixed double sculls being the rowing events for these Games.
To be held on Saly Beach, just south of Dakar, rowing will take advantage of one of Senegal’s most beautiful beaches for racing. Open to athletes born in 2004 and 2005 from around the world, the rowing events have a quota of 120 athletes – 60 men and 60 women.
Christophe De Kepper, Director General of the IOC, stated that coastal rowing fits with the new event programme key principles. “The objective of these principles is to assist in providing a sustainable model for hosting and organising the Youth Olympic Games, and to ensure alignment with youth development pathways, overall gender equality, innovation and understandability and credibility of the events.”
“This is fantastic news that the IOC has agreed that coastal rowing will be included in the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games,” said FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland. “Coastal rowing is critical to our strategy to expand the sport to new and diverse countries, many that do not have suitable rivers and lakes. The exciting nature of coastal rowing will also fit perfectly in with the style and brand of the Youth Olympic Games.”
This will be the first YOG with full gender equality, not only in an equal number of male and female athletes, but also equal representation in each sport represented. Along with coastal rowing the 2022 YOG will include beach wrestling, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and breaking.
The World Rowing Federation, FISA, will announce more details in early February 2020 on the strategy to address this huge opportunity for the development of Coastal Rowing. The FISA Council will be proposing a qualification system including qualification at the 2021 World Rowing Coastal Championships and a wide number of continental qualification camps and regattas.