Midlands to host 2018 Youth games

MIDLANDS province has been picked to host the 2018 national Youth Games, where over 2 000 athletes from the country’s 10 provinces are expected to compete.

BY TERRY MADYAUTA

This year’s edition was held in Hwange, but the Games were generally unsuccessful due to financial and logistical challenges.

Some athletes were disgruntled by the squalid conditions they were exposed to while some sport codes had to be cancelled owing to the unavailability of venues.

Speaking to NewsdaySport, Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) corporate communications officer, Tirivashe Nheweyembwa revealed that Midlands had been picked to host next year’s event, and urged the province to start preparations to avoid the hiccups experienced this year.

Part of the message was for the province to start resuscitating different sporting facilities for the Games.

“Nothing beats preparation, if we are well prepared, there will won’t be outcries as was experienced this year in Hwange. Such challenges we faced were as a result of poor management and next year, we will guard against such scenarios. It’s not easy to host so many athletes and we expect that Midlands will deliver memorable games.

“Preparation is the best ingredient for success in any sporting discipline. We expect the local organising committee to make strenuous efforts to make these Games a success. Every stakeholder should put in extra effort and make sure that the athletes get adequate food and sporting facilities,” Nheweyembwa said.

“We have toured some of the facilities like the tennis and basketball courts and surely some are up to standard though some need a facelift. As SRC, we have adopted the international sporting standards, hence, it is up to us and every stakeholder to make it a success.

“We all should note that these Games are not just a norm, but they are very crucial for us because the give our young athletes that platform to showcase their talent. It’s an opportunity for them to be seen by different scouts on the African Safari because those who do well in these games will make the team that represents the country at the Africa Youth Games.”

Midlands SRC provincial co-co-ordinator, Simon Masaka was excited at the opportunity to host the event.

“It is great news that our province will host the combined version of the Zimbabwe Youth Games and the Zimbabwe Paralympic Games. It is our mandate to ensure that we provide good standards ranging from accommodation to sporting facilities.”

The Games have been earmarked for August next year, with the National Paralympics to follow later as the SRC aims at replicating the internationally sporting calendar.

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