Curtain closes on Youth Games

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TEN days of sporting activities in Bulawayo came to an end when the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Under-20 Youth games were officially closed at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

Thandiwe Moyo/Sukoluhle MTHETHWA

Southern region countries participated in the sporting showpiece with South Africa emerging overall winners followed by Zimbabwe with Mozambique, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Malawi and Lesotho also taking part.

Jumbo-the-Games-mascot-perfoms-for-the-crowd
Jumbo-the-Games-mascot-perfoms-for-the-crowd

Athletes competed in football, netball, basketball, tennis, boxing, judo, swimming and athletics in various venues.

In his closing remarks Sport, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa thanked the government for their support in hosting the games.

“Without the government’s support we would not have managed to host these games successfully. We appreciate the value and importance the people’s government places on sport and above all making it accessible to everyone of us.

Bulawayo has had a memorable 10 days of exciting sport. The memories of these games will linger on and on. It is my express opinion and belief that we hosted the best edition of the AUSC Under-20 Youth Games.

“This is characteristic of us as a nation always endowed with the ability to perform par excellence regardless of the economic challenges,” he said.

Langa expressed gratitude to the regional organising committee (ROC) chair Mvuso Mbebe.

Andrew-Langa-Minister-of-sport-art-and-culture
Andrew-Langa-Minister-of-sport-art-and-culture

“To the ROC chairman, Mvuzo Mbebe and his dedicated team I want to relay my sincere heartfelt gratitude. There were times when we, as the Zimbabweans organising team felt so dejected and hopeless at the pace of our preparations and refurbishment, but Mbebe always urged us on.

“Occasionally with pushes that woke us up to some realities you were always assuring us that Zimbabwe will host the best games. I would like to appreciate the great work done by both the regional and local organising committee, their relentless involvement in the preparations to the flawless implementation of the games. I watched with interest as the two committees faced the challenges at times uncertain of the outcome yet bold and always focused,” he said.

He applauded the athletes’ sportsperson.

“I offer my heartfelt congratulations to all athletes that participated in the games. I was witness to the passion and strength in all of you. The athletes have exercised outstanding sportsmanship which left many of us wishing for more. I could see respect for the opponent and rules of the games the desire to excel,” Langa said.

His gratitude also went to Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo, jumbo the mascot, media, volunteers and supporters who thronged the venues.

Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Eunice Sandi Moyo on behalf of the President Robert Mugabe encouraged southern region countries athletes to develop into champions at world stage.