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European Para Youth Games return to Finland

Finland will be hosting the European Para Youth Games for the second time. The event takes place at Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center from 27th of June to 4th of July, 2022. 

At this Multi-sport competition the young para-athletes will compete in nine different sports: athletics, swimming, boccia, table tennis, goalball, wheelchair basketball, judo, sitting volleyball and showdown. Finland and Pajulahti hosted EPYG even in 2019.  

Swimming will be organized in Mäkelänrinne swim center in Helsinki and all the other sports will be organized in Pajulahti. Sitting volleyball will be a new sport in the 2022 competition program. In 2019 more than 600 athletes, coaches and team staff from 27 different European countries participated in the event. A larger number of participants will be expected in the 2022 competitions. 

Tero Kuorikoski, director of the Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, is looking forward to a high-quality event. 

The fact that we will host the event for the second time in a row is the best possible feedback of the 2019 Games from the European para family to Finland. We were also able to learn a lot and now we are ready to make this upcoming event even better. We hope that we will see many teams from Europe again in Pajulahti, says Kuorikoski.

Riikka Juntunen, Secretary General of the Finnish Paralympic Committee says it is important that young Finnish para-athletes get to experience a high-level competition in their home country. 

-This is a great opportunity to our young athletes to compete in a high-level international competition. At the same time, it is great to be able to continue the good work that has been done in Pajulahti in international competitions in the past. 

Athletes from EPYG 2019 competed in Tokyo 2020

At least ten young athletes from EPYG 2019 competed in Tokyo Paralympics 2020.

Nader Khalili, Finland, swimming.

Aino Tapola, Finland, table tennis

Misha Palazzo, Italy, swimming.

Matteo Parenzan, Italy, swimming.

Tatyana Lebrun, Belgium, swimming.

Nora Korneliussen, Norway, table tennis.

Ida-Louise Øverland, Norway, athletics.

Fabian Diehm, Germany, goalball.

Diogo Cancela, Portugal, swimming.

Typhaine Solde, France, athletics.

Hopefully we will see some of them again in Finland next summer and in addition to them a lot of new future Paralympic stars.

EPYG2019

Finland’s midnight sun finally set on Sunday night as the European Para Youth Games 2019 came to an end, following 3 closely fought competition days of 8 sports. The final medal table was topped by Germany with 19 Gold, 14 Silver and 14 Bronze medals.

EPYG2019 hosted at the Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training center from the 25-30th June, was the fifth and largest edition of the Games to date with almost 600 participants from 27 countries.

The Games were loved by athletes and spectators alike and delivered fantastic highlights, including a World Record in the W20 F64. The memorable event ended with EPC President Ratko Kovacic declaring at the closing ceremony that EPYG 2019 was ‘the best games ever’ hosted.

Overseen by the European Paralympic Committee, the European Paralympic Youth Games are seen as an introductory international event for many aspiring para athletes, with the combination of new and rising stars in the Paralympic movement leading to an exciting competition for athletes and spectators alike. Conceived in 2011, the Games are part of the Committee’s aim to develop the Paralympic Movement by creating a platform to inspire young European athletes aged 13-23 to take part in Paralympic Sport and begin their Paralympic journey.

The 2019 edition of the Games included eight sports: athletics, boccia, goalball, judo, showdown (demonstration sport), swimming, table tennis and wheelchair basketball.

The Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, Finland’s only Olympic AND Paralympic Training Center, is fa- mous for its elite athlete training facilities and conveniently located accommodation services, all surrounded by beautiful Finnish nature and located on the shores of a fresh water lake. During EPYG 2019 the Training Center was transformed into an Athletes Village and utilised all of Pajulahti’s facilities as Training/Competition venues, with Swimming and Athletics taking place at external venues.

NPC Finland, Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center and Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities (VAU) were responsible for organizing the event. Also Finnish Sport Federations and regional sports clubs were involved in the event and were a determinate support for each discipline and provided technicians. Every sport and venue worked as an independent structure based on two sport directors, one from Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center and one from Sport Federation. (Aquatics Finland, Finnish Athletics, Basketball Finland, Finnish Table Tennis Federation, Finnish Judo Association and Sport Association of Persons with Disabilities)