PREPARATIONS for this year’s African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under -20 Youth Games set for Botswana are gathering momentum with the games’ mascot set to be unveiled this month, while the team sports draw will be done on October 20.
The games will be held in Gaborone from December 7-14, with the University of Botswana set to be the main games venue.
In an interview from the AUSC Region 5 headquarters in Gaborone yesterday, chief executive officer Stanley Mutoya said the mascot will be coming to town on September 18.
“Also to note is that this year’s games will see the introduction of the three-on-three basketball that will be held at Molapo Crossing, a few minutes’ drive from the Games’ Village. As a region, we are quite happy with the facilities and it’s important to highlight that no new construction was done, but just sprucing up,” said Mutoya.
He said they held a successful meeting with the chef de missions last month before they also undertook a tour of the competition and games venues.
“It’s all looking to a successful competition and we are excited about that,” said Mutoya.
The aims of the games are to encourage young sportspersons to develop towards stages where they can in future represent their nations and the region.
It’s also meant to enable young people from different member states to meet, mix and get to know each other, thereby developing the required community spirit and regional integration; to develop a spirit of fair play, mutual respect and Olympism among young athletes of the region; and provide opportunities for countries of the region to unite in working on an agreed common sports programme.
AUSC Region 5 is the sports arm of the African Union, which was formed in the 1960s and is headquartered in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The main aim of the AUSC is to use sports to achieve peace, integration and unity in Africa; that is sport as a vehicle of encouraging people to develop and come together, irrespective of colour, economic status, political, class, or gender.
The AUSC divided Africa into seven competition zones due to the vastness of the continent and for financial prudence.
The main consideration was the countries’ geographical positions. It is from this that AUSC Region 5 was born.
Mozambique played host to the inaugural games in 2004 with Zimbabwe hosting the jamboree in 2014 and Angola hosting the 2016 version of the biannual competition. - Chronicle