Panam Sports conducted its first visit to Cali in 10 months ©Panam Sports

Panam Sports President Neven Ilic has expressed confidence in the preparations for the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games after a visit to the Colombian city.

Ilic led a 10 member Panam Sports delegation to Colombia, with the visit following the country lifting its borders.

The visit was considered key for the organisation in conducting technical visits to venues, with the coronavirus pandemic having restricted them to virtual meetings for the past 10 months.

The four-day visit saw the Panam Sports delegation visit sport events for the Games, as well as receive updates on infrastructure, transportation, catering, volunteering, protocol and security.

“Coming to Cali was the right decision; we had been working virtually but being here makes me feel confident and I can go back home pleased,” Ilic said.

“They have tremendous potential, the sport venues are excellent, and we are sure that all sports that will be held in the Games will have venues that are very well adapted to our needs.

“The balance is very positive, Cali is working very well and I have absolutely no doubt that the Games will be an unforgettable sport celebration for all of the Americas’ youth.”

Panam Sports said the visit included venues at Jaime Aparicio, Alberto Galindo and San Fernando Cali, as well as the venues Buga, Palmira and Jamundí sub-sites.

The Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium and the Evangelista Mora Coliseum were two of the key venues included on the tour.

The Mayor's Office of Cali added that it was working to guarantee fine tuning of the hotel and transport scenarios to enable the Games to be held successfully.

Cali 2021 executive director Jose Luis Echeverry said the visit helped motivate Cali.

“The Panam Sports Commission is leaving Cali pleasantly surprised by everything that its members have seen throughout this four-day visit, and that makes us feel very pleased and motivated to keep on working to face the great challenge that we have as a country,” Luis Echeverry said.

“There is a lot of work to do and we would like to thank President Ilic and his team for their confidence and their continuous collaboration.”

The next Panam Sports Coordination Commission visit to Cali is scheduled to take place in February.

Cali was chosen as the first host in March last year in front of Santa Ana in El Salvador and Monterrey in Mexico.

The city staged the senior Pan American Games in 1971 and the World Games in 2013.

In March, 30 sports were confirmed for the Cali 2021 programme.

More than 4,000 athletes are set to compete between September 9 and 19.

Dates in June had originally been planned but Panam Sports moved the event back in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cali 2021 will make a presentation on its progress during the Panam Sports General Assembly on December 15 and 16, which will be held virtually.