The National Youth Sport Festival is a unique event for young athletes organized by the Czech Olympic Committee in cooperation with individual regions of the Czech Republic. Almost 3,600 young talents competed at the 10th Summer National Youth Sport Festival which took place from 26 until 30 June in the Olomouc Region. Selections from all fourteen regions of the Czech Republic competed for 636 sets of medals in twenty different sports in the towns of Olomouc, Prostějov, Přerov, Uničov, Kojetín and Velká Bystřice. Athletes from the South Moravian Region ranked first in the overall standings.
“The National Youth Sport Festival is the biggest sporting event we have organized in the recent years, both in terms of organizational efforts and its outreach. If you experienced the atmosphere of the opening ceremony at Andrův Stadion arena with almost seven thousand mostly young people, you would not forget it”, said Josef Suchánek, President of the Olomouc Region.
“I have no doubts that the young athletes gave their sweat and their hearts to compete in the 34 arenas in six towns of our region. So, I would like to thank them, the delegations and the organizing team from the Czech Olympic Committee, the regional administration, and everybody else for creating this unique and amazing event.”
Athletes from Prague and Central Bohemian Region ranked second and third behind the South Moravian team. The hosting region, Olomouc, with its 375 points, ranked fourth.
It is a great opportunity for athletes to experience the atmosphere of large events.
“What makes the National Youth Sport Festival unique is cooperation between the regions, the national federations, and the Czech Olympic Committee. Like in previous years, in 2022 we succeeded in giving the children a sporting experience of a lifetime,“ says Filip Šuman, Deputy Chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee.
Support from top athletes
127 active or former professional athletes came to the National Youth Sport Festival to support the young talents. Olympic champion Jiří Prskavec built the canoe slalom course and tested it together with the silver medallist Lukáš Rohan. “It is a great opportunity for athletes to experience the atmosphere of large events. It is too bad canoeing was not included in the festival when we were younger”, Prskavec expressed his regrets.
Jakub Jirka, who is originally from Olomouc, came to watch fencing. Karel Poborský attended the football finals, Jiří Novák watched the tennis tournament in Prostějov and Olympic champion Jiří Tabák came to cheer for artistic gymnasts. World champion Šárka Kašpárková handed over the medals at the track and field stadium and Barbora Janíčková did the same at the swimming arena.
You could also follow National Youth Sport Festival on social media; fans could watch TV broadcasting on Česká televise and streams, which had 250 thous. live viewers.
Fair play also played an important part. Referees highlighted 24 acts and handball player Jiří Štěpán from Moravian-Silesian Region received the main award for providing first aid to an opponent and telling the referee that a goal was scored after the whistle. He received the award from the hands of six-times Paralympic champion and member of Czech Fair Play Club Jiří Ježek. Noteworthy were the actions of two handball coaches from the South Bohemian Region who rescued a drowning person.
Another National Youth Sport Festival – this time, a winter edition, the twentieth in total – will take place next year in Hradec Králové Region, and next time young athletes will compete in summer sports again will be in South Bohemian Region in 2024.