Neven Ilic said the full Santiago 2023 sport programme will be decided in March ©Panam Sports

Panam Sports expects to confirm the full sport programme for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games at the organisation’s next Executive Committee in March.

The sport programme was among the topics discussed by the Executive Committee today, where the organisation heard updates from Santiago 2023 and Cali 2021, who are organising the inaugural Junior Pan American Games.

Santiago 2023 were represented by Chile’s Sports Minister Cecilia Perez and Chilean Olympic Committee President Miguel Ángel Mujica,

“We have important decisions to take, including what will be the sport programme there,” Ilic said, following the meeting.

“We need to review the infrastructure they are proposing to us, including the village, and the budget.

“It was a very good meeting with them, they came with the new Minister of Sport, who did a great presentation.”

Panam Sports Technical Commission chair Michael Fennell said last year that the organisation would undertake a full review of the Pan American Games programme after Lima 2019.

The review is aimed at ensuring the sports are relevant to the region.

Fennell had said the Pan American Games programme would continue to be based upon the sports featuring at the following year's Olympics.

Ilic confirmed all 28 core Olympic sports will feature on the programme at the Games in four years’ time.

Panam Sports have expressed hopes at least 25 of the events at the Games will serve as qualification events to the Olympic Games.

A decision on the full programme is now expected in March.

“We decided to study more deeply the situation for each of the sports,” Ilic said.

“We decided to keep the 28 Olympic sports.

“We are doing a professional study for each of the other sports.

“This involves looking at what the situation is with each sport, including how many countries they are present in.

“We are moving the final decision to the Executive Committee meeting that we will have in March.”

When Santiago was awarded the Games in November 2017, organisers proposed a programme featuring 39 sports.

This included baseball, basque pelota, bowling, climbing, karate, racquetball, skateboarding, skating, softball, squash and water skiing, as well at the 28 core Olympic sports.

The Games are set to take place between October 22 to November 5 in 2023.

It will be the latest Pan American Games in a calendar year, with the decision made after Santiago's weather conditions had been taken into consideration. 

Santiago was confirmed as host in November 2017 after its bid was unanimously approved by Panam Sports.

The city was the sole bidder for the 19th edition of the Games, following the withdrawal of Buenos Aires.

Cali 2021 presented an update on their plans for the Junior Pan American Games ©Panam Sports
Cali 2021 presented an update on their plans for the Junior Pan American Games ©Panam Sports

The inaugural Junior Pan American Games in Cali, due to take place in 2021, will be one of the key milestones towards Santiago 2023.

Panam Sports view the event as a necessary to provide younger athletes with another development opportunity, with gold medallists qualifying for Santiago 2023.

"Our countries, not including the United States or Canada, have problems in developing athletes," Ilic said.

"Sometimes the budgets are not enough to cover the main team and the future generations.

"But when you are not investing money in the future generation, the future of sport in your country will be a problem.

"We think this project will encourage Governments and NOCs to maintain this generation, which in this case will be the athletes from the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

"We need to give continuity to this generation and give them a goal with the chance to qualify for Santiago."