Alger, Algeria, Feb 22, 2018: Encouraged by the popularity of rugby at the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Rugby Africa (www.RugbyAfrique.com) has decided to make the 3rd edition of the African Youth Games a major objective for the 2018 season.
The president of Rugby Africa, Abdelaziz Bougja announced: “Inclusion in the Olympics represents a great opportunity for the development of rugby. Today, there are one million players with a goal to reach two million over the next 10 years.”
He went on to say: “Rugby has become an Olympic sport due to the efforts of my friend and former president of World Rugby (www.WorldRugby.org), Bernard Lapasset. Along with him, I led the fight and I was delighted to see South Africa bring home the bronze medal from the first participation of rugby 7s in the Rio Olympics in 2016.”
He also congratulated the African Olympic Committees: “The Olympic Committees provided the greatest possible support in this registration process and it is thanks to them that twenty-two teams are now registered with more than 300 young athletes.”
The African Youth Games will take place in Algiers from 18th to 28th July 2018 in partnership between the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the Algerian Olympic Committee. The games are open to young people under 18 and the rugby competition will take place at Bouira stadium.
The Algerian minister for sport, El Hadi Ould Ali, confirmed the unfailing support of the Algerian government: “This event is at the heart of our development strategy for sport in Algeria. I am sure rugby will attract large crowds and will contribute to the success of the event.”
Finally the acting president of ANOCA, Mustapha Berraf says on this subject: “This 3rd edition of the African Youth Games will be a real celebration of sport and its values. I wish the best to all the delegations in their preparations and I look forward to seeing the emergence of the future African stars of international rugby.”
Registered teams : Algeria (M), Benin (M), Burkina Faso (M), Burundi (M), Congo (M), Democratic Republic of Congo (F/M), Ivory Coast (F/M), Kenya (F/M), Madagascar (F/M), Mauritius (M), Morocco (F/M), Namibia (M), Sierra Leone (M), South Africa (M), Tunisia (F/M), Zambia (M), Zimbabwe (M). —- APO-OPA