Botswana will be hosting 8th edition of AUSC Region 5 Youth Games – Gaborone 2018 from 7th – 16th December 2018, here in Gaborone. In preparation for participation at the games, the host nation has registered ten (10) sport disciplines namely; Athletics, Athletics for the visual impaired, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Netball, Swimming, Tennis, Judo and Volleyball.
Athletics – Most of the athletes who form part of the AUSC R5 team competed at the COSSASA Athletics Championships held in Francistown, Botswana from 7-9 May 2018. The competition attracted five countries from the region being Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland. The athletes also travelled to South Africa where they took part at the Southern Region Junior Championships.
Athletics for Visually Impaired – preparations are underway in Francistown and Mochudi respectively, as efforts/arrangements for athletes to train at least once a week as a team were successful. Despite missing an important April training camp, all is not lost, we have couple of training camps (July, September and November) lined up to further prepare the athletes for this crucial event.
The team is composed 3 outstanding athletes who recorded impressive times from 2017 Botswana Games. These are 2 males from T13 doing 200 and 400m and 1 female T12 doing 100 and 200m.
Boxing – The team travelled to Zimbabwe for a friendly from 27-28 April 2018. A total of eight players travelled to Zimbabwe and five players won their fights while three players lost. On the weekend of 12-13 May 2018 the team also participated at the Gaborone inter Clubs in Gaborone. The team will travel to Francistown on the 26-27 May 2018 to play in one of the local tournaments with local clubs.
Basketball teams – Both basketball teams have not trained as a team but all the athletes are currently training in their respective schools as they are preparing for schools ball sports. It should be noted that most of the athletes are under 16 as such they are school going and they will be playing in the school leagues.
Judo – The team is consistently training at the Judo Dojo on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Almost all the athletes reside in Gaborone and it makes it easy for the team to train consistently.
Football – the team has not had training camps however, athletes are training at their various clubs.
Netball – the team has not had a formal training together but most of the athletes are part of the local teams which are currently playing the Spar Sponsored National League.
Swimming – all identified swimmers are training with their clubs here in Botswana, South Africa and one swimmer in USA. Both the Coach and Team Manager will be in constant contact with their club Coaches to get training reports on a regular basis. As most of them are students, BSSA plans two training camps by August 2018 at HPC.
Tennis – Most of the athletes who are part of the AUSC team took part in the ITF World Junior Ranking held in Gaborone, Botswana from 16-29 April 2018. One boy managed to reach the singles semi-finals while the girls’ doubles team managed to also reach the finals. The tennis team also travelled to Mozambique to attend an ongoing tournament which started on 14th – 27th May 2018. Two boys and a girl managed to reach the finals.
Volleyball – girls’ team managed to have training and friendly games with Howard University (USA) women volleyball team. The team also continue to do weekend trainings at the University of Botswana courts.
The boys’ volleyball team has not started a formal training as a team however, majority of the players are training with their respective clubs and they will be playing in the Mascom league which is due to start on the 26th May 2018.
Botswana hosted Confederation of School Sport Associations of Southern Africa (COSSASA) from 7 – 8 May 2018 where majority of athletes who competed at the games are part of the AUSC team. The host country will also host Confederation of University and College Sport Association (CUCSA) games in June 2018. Ten countries will participate at the games in various sport disciplines namely; Athletics, Volleyball, Netball, Basketball, Tennis, Football among others.