Cities across Normandy are set to host ISF Gymnasiade events ©ISF

More than 3,500 people are set to participate in the International School Sports Federation (ISF) Gymnasiade in Normandy.

The ISF revealed that participants from 63 countries are due compete at the multi-sport event from tomorrow until May 22, with 20 sporting events taking place in the French region.

The cities of Caen, Deauville, Ecouves, Granville, Le Havre, Montivilliers, Pont-Audemer, Rouen and Val-de-Reuil will host events, along with educational and cultural activities.

Archery, artistic gymnastics, athletics, para athletics, badminton, basketball 3x3, beach volleyball, boxing, dancesport/breaking, fencing, judo, para judo, orienteering, rhythmic gymnastics, rugby sevens, swimming; para swimming; table tennis, taekwondo, and wrestling are featured on the programme of the event.

Breaking, rugby sevens and Para sports are included for the first time, with the ISF labelling the event as the biggest in its history.

The ISF has promised the Gymnasiade will provide a taste for school students an international multi-sport event in the build-up to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. 

The organisation claimedthe inclusion of Para sport events is part of its aim to provide maximum opportunities for young people to engage and enjoy school sport through its events.

"We are delighted to have this historic ISF event in Normandy, France, ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games," said ISF President Laurent Petrynka.

"As is the case of international sport events, we have continued to work on developing ISF events, to bring the international stage to more school students from around the world, allowing them a chance to be a part of a once in a lifetime experience, and see the world, all through school sport."

An Opening Ceremony is scheduled to be held tomorrow in Deauville city centre, with a parade of nations among the highlights.

The ISF Nation’s Night will be held during the week, with the event offering an opportunity for school students to take to the stage to perform or present their country.

The Nation’s Night is billed as an opportunity for participants to interact with their peers and discover other cultures and traditions, outside of competition.

Educational activities will be held throughout the Gymnasiade, including the Fun and Skills Zone, the ISF School Sport Forum, and ISF Seminars.

The Fun and Skills Zone is due to be organised from the next Monday (May 16) to May 21 in the International Centre of Deauville (CID).

It will focus on learning about sport values through discovering new sports and introductory activities being offered at various different booths located around the Fun and Skills Zone.

The zone is being supported by ISF partners, including the International Fair Play Committee, the United World Wrestling, Peak, Kinder Joy of Moving, International Teqball Federation, and Education First.

This ISF School Sport Forum will focus on the topic of "Healthy lifestyle: the Importance and Role of School sport" is then set to take place on May 18.

Youth, policy makers and sport leaders will participate in the forum, which will assess the the role of school sport when tackling public policy, gender equality, safeguarding of children in sport, sustainable development or developing national policy.

The seminars during the event will be dedicated to safeguarding of children in sport and officials.

Officials will be the first topic on May 18, under the title "NO REF NO SPORT!".

Experiences of sports refereeing at the highest level will be discussed by officials from fencing and ice hockey.

The second seminar topic is due to be examined on May 19 and 20, with the ISF claiming the seminar underlines its commitment to ensuring all children have a right to play sport in an environment where they are safe.

Three sports will be streamed each day on the ISF YouTube channel and the Olympic Channel.