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Region 5 Games: Chaos as athletes sleep in buses

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Region 5 Games: Chaos as athletes sleep in buses. PIC. MORERI SEJAKGOMO
There was chaos yesterday evening as teams arriving for the Region 5 Youth Games, were forced to sleep in buses due to lack of accommodation.

Botswana is hosting the biennial games, with more than 2,000 athletes drawn from 10 countries participating in the tournament that runs from Friday until December 16.

When some teams arrived yesterday, they found that there were no proper arrangements over accommodation at the University of Botswana, which is the Games' Village.

The Games general manager, Steve Bothasitse admitted that there was accommodation challenge on Tuesday. He said teams were accommodated in a common room. He said it was unfortunate that UB students were slow to vacate the rooms after their examinations.

“The UB had promised us that the students would be out by Wednesday after their final papers. As of this morning (Wednesday), teams were accommodated at Sir Ketumile Masire hospital,” he said. In addition there were concerns over security, but Bothasitse said they had since deployed extra personnel.

There were also reports that technical equipment meant for the games was stuck at the Tlokweng border.

However, Bothasitse said there was only one item from COSAFA which was stuck

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at the border, explaining that it was not part of the Region 5 Games.

A source had informed Mmegi Sport that teams were stranded when they arrived, without a proper place to sleep. 

“There was no arrangement for alternative accommodation on Tuesday. Athletes had to sleep in buses and some dingy places. There is a video circulating on social media that shows girls sleeping in a crowded place,” the source said.

The source said the Games' Local Organising Committee (LOC) knew about the UB examination schedule and should have come up with a plan to accommodate athletes at a different place. He said young girls were at risk, as they were mingling with students at the UB, where there was no control. 

“People are just moving all over the athletes’ village without accreditation. The LOC was caught off guard. Transport is not adequate and some of the technical equipment is stuck at the border,” the source said.



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