Panam Sports are looking to introduce three new multi-sport events ©Panam Sports

Panam Sports have proposed a “multi-year cycle of events” which President Neven Ilic claimed could “change the history of sport” in the continent.

The proposal was presented by the organisation’s New Events Commission, with three new Games put forward to members.

A Beach Games has been suggested, along with Youth and Junior versions of the Pan American Games.

Each of the events are claimed to fit into the existing four-year cycle, with the aim of providing athletes with greater opportunities to compete and boost the Panam Sports brand in the region.

Panam Sports claim the events create a continuing pathway for young athletes who compete at Youth Olympic Games, allowing them to progress to compete at the full Pan American Games and Olympics.

The Pan American Junior Games are aimed to act as a bridge between the Youth Olympic Games and the Pan American Games, with all athletes competing under the age of 21.

The first staging of the multi-sport event is targeted to be in 2021, with the Games envisaged to feature 4,000 athletes.

Panam Sports state they believe the Games should cost between $20 million (£15 million/€17 million) to $30 million (£23 million/€25 million), roughly one tenth of the cost of the elite level Pan American Games.

The organisation state they hope the Games has no economic impact on the hosts, with all facilities needing to be in place already.

It is hoped sponsorship revenue can be sought to ensure the Games are not costly for National Olympic Committees and the host city.

Billed as a key opportunity to allow athletes to continue their development, the Games would offer qualification for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

The Pan American Junior Games would offer direct qualification to the senior event ©Getty Images
The Pan American Junior Games would offer direct qualification to the senior event ©Getty Images

It is hoped this would provide a further incentive to athletes to qualify for the Games two years before, with the gold medallists automatically securing places.

To keep costs down for NOCs, Panam Sports state the organisers would be required to fund 50 flight tickets for each of the competing nations and territories to allow them to participate.

Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico are claimed to have declared their interest in hosting the first edition of the Games.

Cali has been suggested as Colombia’s possible host for the event, with the NOC looking to build from their recent hosting of the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla.

Panam Sports believe other contenders may now come forward, having presented their plans at today's General Assembly.

With the first edition labelled an “experiment” by Ilic, the Panam Sports President requested the Executive Committee evaluate the potential candidates and ultimately determine a host for the event.

He stated this move was necessary as the organisation need to be “careful” to ensure the conditions are right for young athletes.

The creation of a Pan American Youth Games has been aimed at offering qualification opportunities to future editions of the Youth Olympic Games.

The first edition would be held in 2022 and would build upon the existing South American Youth Games, which are due to take place one year earlier.

Panam Sports state the Youth Games will be an under-18 event.

Panam Sports President Neven Ilic claims the event would offer athletes more opportunities to compete and receive national funding ©Panam Sports
Panam Sports President Neven Ilic claims the event would offer athletes more opportunities to compete and receive national funding ©Panam Sports

“It is important to give athletes continuity,” Ilic said.

“Resources are generally focused on the team who will represent the country their following year, for instance in Chile we are investing in the team who are going to Lima and to Tokyo.

“We do not have a clear process to regenerate athletes and make sure they get the funding necessary.

“We are looking to have Games for athletes 21 years old and under, giving continuity to those who participate in the Youth Olympics.

“With the gold medals, they will qualify directly for Santiago 2023.

“This makes the Games very attractive as kids will have incentives to compete.

“We see this as a project we can do for youth and help the next generation.”

The organisation also look set to follow the Olympic Council of Asia and the African National Olympic Committees in establishing a continental Beach Games.

Ilic claimed the continent has several countries which had the ideal conditions to host the event.

The beach event would be aimed at combining elite sports with sports for all in a festive atmosphere, Panam Sports have claimed.

It is hoped the event will connect the Panam Sports brand with the public in the region, with Games aimed at being “entertainment driven”.

The first edition of the Pan American Beach Games has been targeted at being held in 2020.