XI International Youth Games: Brussels, the future arena for high school students from all over the world

We used to say: “Youth must happen.” And for this, it is necessary to return such events as the International Youth Games. AEFE and UNSS recently announced the 11th edition of these Olympiads to be held in Brussels this year.

The Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) and the National Union of School Sports (UNSS) presented on Tuesday, April 19, the course of the 11th International Youth Games (JIJ), which will be held from May 30 to June 4, 2022. in Brussels. Thus, JIJ is signing their big comeback after the 9th edition held in Beirut in 2019 and the cancellation of the 10th edition in Chicago. This is a meeting organized jointly by AEFE and UNSS since 2011, which allows the students of some secondary schools in France to compete on the sports ground with their counterparts from French secondary schools with a presence abroad, in the spirit of celebration and exchange.

The largest French education abroad event will bring together 400 second grade students from 70 different institutions, including 53 from the AEFE network and 17 from the national network, from a total of 42 countries. These are the numbers announced at the press conference by Olivier Brochet and Olivier Giraud, the respective directors of AEFE and UNSS. Also present from afar were prestigious sponsors of the event, Elodie Cluvel, vice-champion of the Olympic modern pentathlon in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and Mikael Jeremias, winner of four Paralympic tennis medals, including a gold medal in Beijing in 2008. .

High school students with AEFE director Olivier Brochet and UNSS director Olivier Giraud.

Six events from May 30 to June 4, 2022… accompanied by online events.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet a distant memory, these Olympic Games will take place for most of the institutions concerned on site, in the Belgian capital, with some having to settle for remote events. Despite everything, 50 delegations from 33 countries will come on the trip, and the choice is left to the institutions whether to compete remotely or not. Thus, the delegations present in Brussels will compete in the six sports featured on the menu, namely badminton, obstacle course, orienteering, circuit training, laser running and rugby. Thus, the program consists of “classic” events as well as more modern events. As for the high school teams that will participate remotely, four events have been created and adapted to this limitation: badminton, circuit training, running and rugby. At the same time, all delegations who wish to do so, whether they are physically present or remotely, will be able to participate in the “Dance the JIJ” event, which consists for each of them in the presentation of a choreographic video. This will be an opportunity to highlight the multicultural aspect of these JIJs.

Students are real actors at all levels
Olivier Brochet, Director of AEFE

Emphasis on the festivities of these International Youth Games 2022

JIJ is not only a celebration of multiculturalism, but also a real moment of communication and fun between the various delegations that will take part this week under the banner of sports and inclusiveness. This last criterion is a strong element of this 11th edition and will be the subject of a master class with a focus on disability sports, which will also have its own version of laser running. But the peak of this multicultural and good-natured aspect will undoubtedly be the “Village Evening”, during which each delegation on the spot will be able to highlight the culture of their country. Students will be able to dress up in costumes and present culinary delicacies as well as sporting events specific to the country.

Some students from Jean Monnet French High Schools in Brussels and Charles de Gaulle High Schools in London will also take on the role of international reporters to cover the event. A task they will accomplish by creating video and photo reports, broadcasting, and revitalizing JIJ’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. From start to finish, these JIJs will involve high school students because, as Olivier Brochet reminds us, “ students are real actors of JIJ at all levels The commitment of various high schools and their students around the world is so strong that some, like the representatives of the French school in Toronto, did not hesitate to get up at dawn to take part in the presentation, which took place in Paris on April 19.