THE African Union Sports Council Region V Under-20 Youth Games local organising committee could be given another week to complete renovations at the selected sports venues, Chief Secretary to the President’s Office and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda revealed yesterday.
THANDIWE MOYO/ SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA
This was after Sibanda led a high-powered delegation through various venues, which were supposed to be completed by September 30. All stadia, however, are almost 75%complete.
The delegation included his deputy in the Office of the President and Cabinet Ray Ndhlukula, deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Justin Mupamhanga, Sport, Arts and Culture permanent secretary Thokozile Chitepo, local organising committee chairperson Khonzani Ncube, her deputy Elkanah Dube and marketing director Kennedy Ndebele.
Sibanda and his delegation toured Luveve Stadium, Barbourfields Stadium, White City and the Bulawayo City Pool which will host football, athletics and swimming respectively.
“The local organising committee working with the Ministry (Public Works) has done a wonderful job to meet the deadline and we are almost at 75% ready. Come the 30th we will be at 90% save for a few pockets here and there like this place (Bulawayo City Pool). An additional one week could be allowed to finish off the job,” he said.
Refurbishment of the games venues began in June and the LOC were expected to hand over the facilities to the regional organising committee (ROC) by the end of this month.
Barbourfields Stadium which is one of the venues that was toured yesterday has had a facelift to its dressing rooms which have been fitted with new showers, new changing areas being constructed at the Mpilo end, bucket sits in the VIP, Press rooms, paving being done from Soweto end shops to the VIP area.
Bulawayo Amateur Football Association grounds’ lawn has been re-planted while within the main pitch the drainage is almost complete with the turf expected to be watered soon after completion.
Tiling of a new Bulawayo 25-metre swimming pool is expected to be done in the next couple of days with a few touches to be done to the main 50m pool.
With regards to Team Zimbabwe’s performance at the games Sibanda said: “We have set the bar very high and we expect a memorable event. I am optimistic that we are going to do well and in order for us to win we are going to make sure that they prepare well in all the fields.”
Fifteen countries from the region will be hosted in December with participants taking part in athletics, netball, swimming, basketball, football, tennis, boxing and judo.
The facilities will leave a lasting legacy for Bulawayo with the City Pool being one of the areas targeted as there was no 25x25m pool for the juniors in the province for national competitions.