The preparations of the 2018 Region 5 Youth Games are at advanced stage, with the organising committee confident that they country will host successful games.
The Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Labbeaus Peloewetse told local media on Friday that preparations at all the venues that will be used to host are almost 100% complete, with major works that are currently being completed including the National Stadium track renovations and the Notwane courts refurbishment amongst others.
He said contractors are working at a high pace to have the job done within a set time frame of 15 days to finish the preparations works in the venue look and city beautification.
“I am very confident that we are ready to host successful games with regards to the work that has already been done. The Games torch started its tour across the country last week and will arrive back in Gaborone on December 7 and it will be used to light the cauldron,” he emphasized.
The games will feature nine core sporting codes including football, athletics, basketball, boxing, netball, judo, swimming and volleyball, with gymnastics dropped as it did not attract enough participation in the previous editions for it to remain the Games programme. The games will draw around 1,115 athletes from 11 SADC countries.
Peloewetse said the Region 5 Youth Games is a good platform that gives young athletes a chance to showcase their sporting talents. The theme of the games is “Together Celebrating Excellence’’ to exemplify the spirit of the games. He also said they will be targeting an average of 20 000 spectators during the ten–day competitions period.
“In addition, there will be 301 officials, 435 technical officials and around 900 volunteers plus the media, and there are other relevant stakeholders that we will be working with during the games such as Botswana Police for security provisions and Princess Marina Hospital which will for serious injuries incurred while Block 8 clinic will be the referral health facility for infectious diseases,” Peloewetse said.
He said they formed partnership with Botswana Sports Volunteers Movement (SVM) which has recruited and trained 500 volunteers with 20 being internationals and 480 being local volunteers. According to him, the volunteers will be deployed to offer wide range of services across all functional areas of the games including language services.
She said due to extreme budgetary constraints they had to knock on the different organisations’ doors for financial assistance and pleaded with more sponsors to come on board and offer any means of support.