A Coordination Committee meeting was held for Shantou 2021 ©OCA

The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Olympic Education Programme will be part of next year's Asian Youth Games in Shantou, it has been announced.

The decision follows the postponement of the 2022 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Dakar to 2026, which means athletes will not benefit from the initiative in Senegal.

Instead, the IOC has encouraged the five continental associations to adopt the programmes at their regional events.

There are five main topics which will be covered in Shantou - Olympic values, injury prevention, the problem of harassment and abuse in sport, career management and competition manipulation.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said there are also plans to include displays of art and culture from all 45 of their National Olympic Committees.

"I think it is a very good initiative by the IOC to include these educational aspects into the Asian Youth Games," said OCA life vice-president Raja Randhir Singh, who conducted a virtual Coordination Committee meeting for Shantou 2021.

"It will be great for the IOC and OCA to work together on this programme and enlighten the young people of Asia on how they can contribute to peace and prosperity through sport."

IOC vice-president Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, the chairman of the OCA Advisory Committee, will serve as a link between the two organisations.

"I am quite sure it will become a really powerful and useful programme in the Shantou Asian Youth Games next year," he said.

Dates of between November 20 and 28 have been set for the Shantou Games in the Chinese city next year.

Olympic education is planned in Shantou following the delay to the Dakar 2022 Summer Youth Olympics ©Getty Images
Olympic education is planned in Shantou following the delay to the Dakar 2022 Summer Youth Olympics ©Getty Images

As Dakar 2022 has been delayed, the age limit for athletes has been increased by a year to 18.

Eighteen sports are planned with construction work said to be 65 per cent complete.

The Athletes' Village will be part of the university campus with a capacity of 4,000 athletes and officials, while a Torch lighting ceremony is planned for Nan'ao Island on June 21.

A Relay will include a "Torch cruise" on June 28 to highlight Shantou's seafaring history.

"We have discussed all the important items like the sports programme, the cultural programme and the protocol for the Games regarding COVID-19," said OCA director general Husain Al Musallam.

"We need to finalise common guidelines for the National Olympic Committees and the athletes before they leave their own country, when they arrive in China and before they leave Shantou."

The first Asian Youth Games took place in Singapore in 2009, before a second edition in Nanjing in China in 2013.

Both events were dress rehearsals for the Summer Youth Olympics held in the cities in the following years.

Jakarta in Indonesia was due to host the Asian Youth Games in 2017 but pulled out and the OCA opted to delay the third edition until next year.

Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent has already been awarded the 2025 Games.