Organisers are finalising preparations ahead of the Region 5 Youth Games Gaborone 2018, which will run from next week Friday until December 16.The venues have been upgraded and during a tour of the National Stadium this week, Mmegi Sport team saw workers putting the final touches, with the track, resurfaced.
The games general manager, Steve Bothasitse said everything was in place, and they had also resurfaced seven tennis courts at Notwane.
“We have bought the boxing ring. The netball court floor and basketball equipment are still at the harbour in Durban. We are replacing touch pads at the UB swimming pool at a cost of P1.5 million,” he said.
Bothasitse said they will hand over the facilities to the Botswana National Sport Commission on Monday and added that representatives from different countries are expected to start arriving on Tuesday.
“Most countries would use the road. Angola will fly into South Africa and drive here. Tanzania is the only country that we expect to fly in. They are coming here as guests for football,” he said.
Chef de mission Team Botswana, Boitumelo Moahi said the team is ready and at the moment there are no serious injuries except a few knocks. Botswana has put together a delegation of 275, with 215 being athletes (109 girls and 106 boys).
“I cannot reveal the target now, that would be done during the send-off ceremony next week in Orapa. But we expect to do better than during the 2016 edition when the games were hosted in Angola where we won 34 medals, 14 gold, 14 silver and six bronze,” she said.
Moahi said they are taking advantage of being the hosts to field a large contingent of athletes. She said in the last edition, they did not send team sport except netball because
Meanwhile, codes like boxing are gearing up for the regional games. The team manager, Taolo Tloetsile said his side is in good shape.
For her part, volleyball girls’ coach, Shirley Moleele said her players are responding well to training. She said initially they would have liked to start camp immediately after Form Five students completed their examinations, but that did not work.
“The camp started on Sunday. I am happy that I have all my players so we are able to utilise time. We train two times a day and I want to see the team go far. By the way things are going, I foresee a podium finish,” she said. Regarding the boys’ team, Moleele said they are also coming up well. She said the positive element about the team is that half of the boys play in the Botswana Volleyball Federation league.
“The boys are used to fighting in league matches. It is now up to how the coaches use the material at their disposal,” Moleele said. Tennis coach, Phenyo Matong said they have a team of four players; Tsholofelo Tsiang and Tshepo Mosarwa (boys), Tshegofatso Tsiang and Leungo Monnayoo, on the girls side.
Ten countries: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, will compete in athletics, basketball, boxing, gymnastics, judo, netball, football, swimming, tennis and volleyball.