Organisers of the inaugural Junior Pan American Games have claimed that it will be the first multi-sport event with significant fan attendance since the outbreak of COVID-19 more than 18 months ago.

After being postponed from its original dates of September 9-19 back in May due to the pandemic, the Games will now take place in Cali-Valle, Colombia from November 25 to December 5.

More than 3,800 athletes from 41 countries will compete in 39 sports across the 10 days of sporting action. The gold medallist in each sport will automatically qualify for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

The fan attendance news was given at a Chef de Mission Seminar held this week. Neven Ilic, president of continental governing body Panam Sports, said: “We have decided together with the Colombian authorities to allow 50% capacity in the sports venues.

“However, those who enter must comply with a series of biosecurity measures such as vaccination certificates, mandatory use of face masks, social distancing and hand washing, among other things.”

Governor of Valle del Cauca, Clara Luz Roldan, added: “We are the Sports Capital of (the) Americas and we are very proud to host the first Junior Pan American Games in history while also commemorating 50 years since the Cali 1971 Pan American Games.

“We love and resonate with sport and it is essential that we are going to be able to count on the support of the people. We will require a vaccination card to enter, but this will once again give athletes the true sense of sport and being encouraged by their families, friends and the general public. It will be a great sports festival, I have no doubt.”

Colombia is expected to receive further good news later today (Friday), with an event scheduled at which it is set to be announced that the city of Barranquilla will be granted hosting rights to the 2027 Pan American Games.

Image: Cali-Valle 2021