EYOF means European Youth Olympic Festival: a biennial sporting event for talented young participants from all over Europe. They will go for gold in nine different Olympic disciplines. This makes the EYOF a perfect warm-up for the ‘real’ Olympics. Just like at the Olympics, the young sports boys and girls will live in the Olympic Village. There’s an opening and closing ceremony and of course an Olympic Flame and Olympic Flag.
The EYOF was founded on the basis of the Olympic legacy. A philosophy that elevates the qualities of the body, willpower and spirit and combines them. Sport is connected to culture and education, leading to the Olympic Values. These are friendship, respect and excellence. During this multi sports event these values have a key role. Together we will contribute to a more peaceful and fairer world.
Young athletes in nine sports
The nine Olympic sports that are part of the EYOF are: athletics, basketball, cycling, gymnastics, handball, judo, gymnastics, swimming, tennis and volleyball. All these sports are regulated by the rules set by the international sports federation. Further information can be found on the specific sports’ subpages.
Participants of the EYOF can be no older than 18 years, however the different sports have their own age categories. They are young talented sports people, who are guided on their way to the top of their sports. For them gaining international experience is essential. EYOF offers that experience by showing them all aspects of the real Olympic Games. Like those Olympic Games the EYOF has summer and winter editions. In 2013 the winter edition will be in Brasov, Romania.
The tournament’s director is Olympic swimmer Pieter van den Hoogenband. In 1993 he competed in the European Youth Olympic Festival that was held in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands. There he won a gold medal and, as he puts it, and that’s where his ‘Olympic Dream’ started. Now exactly twenty years later the EYOF will return to The Netherlands. And Pieter van den Hoogenband, triple Olympic champion, is in charge of this event.
Compact games across Utrecht
The nine sports of the EYOF are held all across Utrecht. The halls of Jaarbeurs Utrecht will be the stage of the judo matches and both the handball and volleyball tournaments. The gymnastic competition in Sports Centre Galgenwaard. There will be basketball at the Utrecht Science Park and tennis at tennis park Den Hommel. Athletics at athletics centre Maarschalkensweerd. Swimming at the new specially designed De Krommerijn pool. For the cycling we will use the Lint, a unique track right round the Máximapark in Leidsche Rijn.
Just like at the ‘real’ Olympics, the young competitors will be housed in the Olympic Village. At the EYOF 2013 in Utrecht there will be two of these villages: one on the campus area of University College Utrecht and the other at Utrecht Science Park, the campus to the east of the city. The participants will experience the atmosphere and on goings of real Olympic Games. They will live together with young sports people from all over the continent.