Botswana athletes will from July 18 to 23, 2017 compete at the sixth annual Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas. Some 71 countries will take part. The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) hosted a send-off ceremony for the athletes aged between 14 and 18 from four sporting codes – athletics, boxing, swimming and cycling. BNOC Chief Executive Officer Tuelo Serufho said this year’s edition will be the largest edition of the youth games and it will also be the biggest sporting event that Bahamas has ever hosted. He said the Commonwealth Games Association of Botswana has brought forward a commendable team that will be able to compete against the best youth athletes in the commonwealth. “The games are a unique and empowering opportunity to celebrate and engage young people on a level playing field of sports. They are an important stepping stone for these athletes who have their eyes on meets like the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games,” he said. He said these games helped contribute to the stardom of Nijel Amos and Karabo Sibanda who have competed in them before.
The team will be led by former boxer and coach Lechedzani Luza as the Chef de Mission. Luza said they have eight athletes in athletics with four females and four males who will be competing in 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. Swimming sensation James Freeman will take part in the 1500m freestyle, 200m and 400m fly and 200m and 400m IM. Boxing is represented by Treasure Moremi and Brian Galelemogwe while three athletes will be doing cycling. The team will leave with at least one official from each code and a Physiotherapist, Psychologist, Team Administrator and a Doctor based in Bahamas. Luza said the athletes have been preparing incredibly well with the athletics team traveling to Bahamas from Kenya where they have been competing in the IAAF World Youth Championships. “This team has been preparing under the careful guidance of the Local Organising Committee. I am confident they selected the best possible youth team to represent Botswana at these games. I promise to lead this team to surpass expectations,” he said. The team left Gaborone on July 12.