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Gaborone’s turn to host Region 5 Games

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone gets the opportunity to host more than 2,000 athletes drawn from 10 countries for the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games, which get underway today and run until December 16.

The games have been running since the first ones held in Mozambique in 2004. The AUSC Council of Ministers adopted a Five Year Development Plan at their November 23, 1997 meeting in Cabinda, Angola. One of the Projects in the Development Plan was the organisation and hosting of AUSC Region 5/SADC Games for the Under-20 age group on a biennial basis.

At their Special Meeting of September 7, 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the AUSC Region 5 Council of Ministers agreed that the hosting of the Games shall be compulsory and rotational, and shall be the basis of the chairmanship of the council of ministers. Thus the country whose minister is the chairperson of the AUSC Region 5 council of ministers shall host the Games.

The last edition of the Games was hosted in Angola. Botswana was then tasked with organising the 2018 games. The LOC chairperson, Labbeaus Peloewetse said they have upgraded and refurbished three venues of the nine that would be used for the competition.

“We have installed new touch pads at the UB swimming pool. The Region 5 Youth Games would be

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used as qualifier for FINA world championship in Gwagnju 2019,” he said.

The National Stadium athletics track, long jump runway and pit have been renovated according to IAAF standards. Peloewetse said they have applied for IAAF certification and the certificate is expected next year. The LOC has also resurfaced seven courts at Notwane courts.

 

Previous editions:

1st edition 2004 Mozambique inaugural

2nd edition 2006 Namibia

3rd edition 2008 South Africa

4th edition 2010 eSwatini

5th edition 2012 Zambia

6th edition 2014 Zimbabwe

7th edition 2016 Angola

8th edition 2018 Botswana

 

About the hosts

Botswana: Population: 2 million

Last appearance: Position two in 2016. The team brought home 34 medals, 14 gold, 14 silver and six bronze.

Number of athletes: 215.

Competing codes: athletics (incl. visually impaired), basketball,

boxing, football, judo, netball, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

 

The defending champions

South Africa: Population: 57.7 million.

Last appearance: Angola 2016.

Number of the team: 220 athletes

Competing codes: athletics (incl. visually impaired), basketball,

boxing, football, judo, netball, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

 

Competition venues

UB aquatic centre: swimming

 

The National Stadium: athletics

UB Indoor Sport Centre: netball

Notwane tennis courts: Tennis

Boipuso hall: boxing

Ditshupo hall: volleyball

Lekidi 1 and 2 pitches: football

Molapo Piazza: basketball



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