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    The main topic of the meeting, with the participation of IOC Honorary Member and President of the Gambia NOC Beatrice Allen and the Executive Director of the Gambia NOC Muhammed Janneh, was the discussion of the possible arrival of Gambian athletes in Russia as part of the International Forum of Young Olympians and preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

    ROC Secretary General Rodion Plitukhin stressed that the Russian Olympic Committee was ready to cover all the necessary expenses for the participation of the delegation in the International Forum of Young Olympians, which is traditionally held on June 1 (International Children’s Day). Furthermore, he announced a special training seminar for NOC representatives who will be present at the forum.

    – We are ready to answer any questions you may have and, what is more, we try to invite not only young athletes – we will be glad if the heads of Gambian sports organizations come to Russia, as well as other representatives of our friendly NOCs so that we can hold seminars on organizing such events in your countries and with your resources. The Russian Olympic Committee is ready to share practical developments that have been formed over several years of holding the forum. And, of course, your feedback will be very important to us.

    The forum is part of the Olympic education system and its mission is to promote true Olympic values, to increase knowledge on the provisions of the Olympic Charter, as well as to form a strong anti-doping culture and a conscious rejection of negative phenomena in sports among young athletes.

    – We have been thinking for a long time to establish a National Olympic Academy in the Gambia. And I am sure that the return of our delegation from the Young Olympians Forum will inspire us and become the starting point for this important event, – said Beatrice Allen.

    Rodion Plitukhin promised to ask RIOU for an expert assessment and examples of successful implementations of Olympic educational programs on the African continent to share with his colleagues. Incidentally, the Secretary General of the Gambia NOC is a RIOU graduate as he had studied at the university.

    Special attention was paid to planning possible cooperation in the field of sports between the two countries. Due to the lack of a developed sports infrastructure in the country, Beatrice Allen expressed interest in sending several athletes to Russia to prepare for the 2024 Summer Olympics due to be held in Paris. Expenses for the training process and accommodation can be covered by the Olympic Solidarity grant program.

    Both sides agreed to discuss a list of names of potential candidates for training in Russia. In addition, in order to speed up administrative processes and jointly uphold the true Olympic values, Rodion Plitukhin proposed signing a Memorandum of Cooperation within the framework of the International Forum of Young Olympians.

    The President of the Gambia NOC Beatrice Allen summed up the meeting:

    – This meeting took place in the nick of time! Next week we are holding a meeting of the Executive Committee, where I will talk in detail about the results of our present meeting. We are very excited! When we just started talking about this, most of my colleagues were very enthusiastic about the participation of our athletes in the Young Olympians Forum. It will be my pleasure to present the draft Memorandum. And as soon as the Executive Committee agrees on all the details, we will send our delegation to the International Forum of Young Olympians! – assured the President of the Gambia NOC.

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