COMPETITION VENUES READY TO HOST AFRICA
Writes Samuel Koka
Region 5 Youth Games Gaborone 2018 office hosted the media to a tour of the competition areas and training venues. Jamali grounds 1 & 2 which will be hosting soccer, The UB Aquatic center for swimming, the National stadium which will the home of athletics, Notwane center where the competitions will be hosting tennis and Ditshupo & Boipuso halls for volleyball.
Image Gallery of the media tour
The tour kicked off at Jamali grounds located in the helm of Tlokweng which will be the home of soccer for the 14 days of the competition. The grounds boast of a scenic place that will be a specular sports village once it’s fully complete. Sitting on a spacious area, the venue provides that refreshing aesthetic view. With the grounds not yet complete, the team has contingency plans in place should in an unlikely event the grounds not be ready by the time the games commence.
The next stop was the UB Aquatic center where the media was treated to a marvel of an international standard swimming pool that has been refurbished to a tune of P1.5 million that was used for purchasing the 8 lane ropes, touch pads, replacing the starting blocks and the timing system which will be configured to the scoreboard. The center has in addition a porta camp for the Technical officials and a caravan from BSSA proving that the pool is ready for FINA accreditation as the tournament will be used for the world qualifiers.
At the national stadium, the media got a feel of the newly refurbished athletics track to the IAAF standards. The track boasts of a new exchange zone, redone long jump pit, a discus throw cage which are all awaiting certification that should be awarded early next year. The total refurbishment cost P1.8 million in total.
The BTA 7 courts which have been resurfaced to a tune of P800,000 are ready for Africa. 6 of the 7 courts which will be used are phenomenal, the umpires’ chairs have also been attended to and it will also feature a porta camp for anti-doping officials, VIP & players’ lounges.
The tour ended with a press conference where the LOC chair Mr. Peloewetse handed over the 9 competition areas and 12 training venues to the AUSC CEO Mr. Stanley Mutoya. It is also important to note that 5 of the 9 venues are within a walking range from the games village, with 3 upgraded to the international standards being the UB Aquatic center, Athletics track as well as the Notwane center’ 6 courts.
“These upgrades are the 8th edition of the Region 5 games’ legacy to Botswana athletes,” remarked Peloewetse. All these, he noted, were done in record time of 18 months from the normal process of 3 years. Something the Chair commended his team and secretariat for.
When accepting the facilities, Mutoya expressed gratitude to the Region 5 youth games Gaborone 2018 for their dedication and hard work. He went on to say that Botswana has the full capacity to host the games which it has effortlessly demonstrated through government support, facilities & accommodation, accessibility of the facilities, budget, rule & regulations, medical facilities, anti-doping education & education, security & safety of the delegates and dignitaries and transport system.
“I accept with solemn humility the facilities and believe that they will be put to great use” Mutoya noted.
He concluded by urging the media to sell the benefit of the games rather than the financial costs. He further said that 177 million lives of Africa’s region 5 will be changed for the better through these games.
With all the refurbishments done, it is proof enough that the facilities are indeed ready for Africa’ region 5 and for a spectacular youth sporting event.