No Youth Games anniversary commemorations

Flashback: Team Botswana during Youth games' opening ceremony
Flashback: Team Botswana during Youth games' opening ceremony

The Botswana Africa Youth Games Organising Committee (BAYGOC) does not have any plans to celebrate the first anniversary of hosting the Africa Youth Games (AYG).

Speaking to Mmegi Sport, former BAYGOC chief executive officer Tuelo Serufho said although nothing was planned for this year, they will consider future commemorations.

The Africa Youth Games are the biggest sporting event the country has ever hosted. The international multi-sport event, which had 21 disciplines, attracted 2, 500 athletes from 53 African countries. The games were hailed as largely successful.  However, Serufho  conceded that the AYG have left a huge impact and created endless opportunities.   “The impact left by the games opened doors for a number of individuals and organisations around the country. “They also unearthed sporting talent,”  he said.  Serufho noted a number of young athletes have gone to successfully participate in international events such as the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games and African Junior Athletics Championships.

Runners such as Karabo Sibanda, Baboloki Thebe and swimming sensation, Naomi Ruele were part of the youth games.  Serufho said the journey continues for the athletes with some of them scheduled to compete at the Commonwealth Youth Games (CWYG) 2015 in Samoa in September.

“We are keeping track of the athletes and we are hoping that we keep on working closely with them,” Serufho said.

Members of last year’s youth squad dominate the CWYG squad.

Apart from developing athletes, Serufho said the games brought infrastructural development. He said the volleyball surfaces were made possible by the games. The AYG also came as an employment tool, with a number of young people hired to perform different roles and tasks.

 “Successfully hosting an event of such a high magnitude has given us confidence to host more international games, ” Serufho said.  Botswana hosts the International Olympic African Committee later this year.

He also confirmed that the AYG audit report was recently completed and it will be released after presentation to government and Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA). The audit report carries the financial breakdown. It took almost a year for the audit process to be completed.

The BAYGOC office was disbanded a few months ago with Serufho reverting to his regular job as Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) chief executive officer.  BAYGOC properties were auctioned with some donated.

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