Harare Province continued with their good record in the Zimbabwe National Youth Games as they put up a good show in all sporting disciplines to win their eighth title since the inception of the games in 2003.
They were outstanding in athletics where they amassed 11 gold, one in volleyball, two in basketball and three bronze in boxing, winning several silver medals and bronze medals to bring their total number to 48.
The only other winners of the Youth Games have been Masvingo, who won the second edition in 2004.
Harare Province general manager Nathaniel Madzivanyika attributed the success in the Youth Games to teamwork.
“We came to Gwanda four days before the games started because we wanted the athletes to acclimatise. We believe that this also helped in making our athletes perform very well. We have always worked together as a team with support from all stakeholders contributing to our success,” he said.
He said they have gone an extra mile in ensuring that good athletes were picked from all corners in the province.
“We work very closely with schools and academies and we visit theses places when there are sporting activities. This has helped us in scouting for talent,” he said.
Bulawayo maintained third position on the medals log after Midlands came second.
Bulawayo could have ended with 11 gold, but ended with 10 losing the plot when their girls’ football team lost 1-0 to Harare in the final.
The result meant that Bulawayo were on 10 gold while Midlands got 11 gold as their boys’ football team beat Mashonaland West 1-0 in the final.
Midlands garnered 33 medals in total while Bulawayo had 29 medals.
Sports and Recreation Commission secretary for the Youth Games Martin Dururu thanked Matabeleland South for successfully hosting the games.
“Matabeleland South Province excelled in organising the games. They have done exceptionally well in terms of sporting facilities, catering and accommodation. The level of competition was very high and stiff as all provinces were prepared to fight for titles although they failed to dislodge Harare,” he said.
Chief executive officer of the Local Organising Committee Mgcini Nkolomi said they had been able to successfully host the games because of hard work.
“We put in a lot of effort and hard work in ensuring that we successfully hosted the games. Despite all the challenges we were able to overcome them. We feel very humbled to have successfully hosted the games,” he said.
Mashonaland West came fourth, followed by Mashonaland East. On sixth position were the hosts Matabeleland South while Mashonaland Central came seventh.
Masvingo were eighth while Manicaland followed on position nine.
Matabeleland North performed dismally and emerged as the last province.
Mashonaland Central host the games next year.