African beach games

On Thursday of last week (14 June 2018) the one-year countdown for the African Beach Games commenced. These games will take place on the island of Sal, Cape Verde from 14 – 23 June 2019.

This small African country will host the first ever African Beach Games following a bid by the Cape Verdean Olympic Committee. The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ACNOA), chose Cape Verde because of the advantages the islands offer, particularly in respect of beach and water sports.

The African Beach Games

Cape Verde is honoured to be invited to hold the inaugural African Beach Games. The games will involve participants from 54 African countries, and will involve 11 different sports. Up to 1000 athletes will descend on the island of Sal for this major sporting event.

The sports involved are as follows:

  • Athletics
  • Basketball 3×3
  • Beach Handball
  • Coastal Rowing
  • Beach Football
  • Freestyle football
  • Beach tennis
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Karate Kata
  • Kite surfing
  • Open water swimming
  • For more information click here.
Mascot

For these inaugural games, the organisers have adopted the Creole word ‘Kretxeu’ which means loved-one. Kretxeu is a yellow loggerhead turtle wearing blue shorts. Cape Verde is famous for its turtles that nest in the sands on the islands.

Kretxeu the African Beach Games mascot
Where is Cape Verde?

Cape Verde (now more correctly known as Cabo Verde) is approximately 500km west from the coast of Senegal and comprises 10 islands, 9 of which are inhabited. The islands were discovered in the 15th Century and for many years were a Portuguese colony; however Cabo Verde has been an independent country since 1974. The country offers sun all year round, friendly locals and wonderful beaches.

The Government of Cape Verde is backing the venture with some financial assistance and by being present and supporting and encouraging the proposals. The Prime Minister of Cape Verde, José Ulisses de Pina Correia e Silva was present at the launch.

Why Sal?

Sal is one of the eastern islands of the archipelago and is also the most developed in terms of tourism. The azure blue Atlantic ocean laps the white sandy beaches that stretch for miles.

Sal is Portuguese for salt and is so named because of the salt industry that was once a major employer. Fishing and tourism are now significant contributors to the economy of this island following the decline of the salt trade. The main centre of tourism is on the south end of the island in the town of Santa Maria. Santa Maria offers a variety of accommodation from self-catering apartments and villas through to large all-inclusive resort hotThe island of Sal is a mecca for kite surfing, windsurfing, surfing and diving, and has become a significant tourist destination over the past few years. Sal provides an ideal location for these games.