REFURBISHMENT of sports facilities for Region V Under-20 Youth Games scheduled for Bulawayo in December is expected to start this week.
Local organising committee chief executive officer Henry Manzungu said work is expected to start soon on all facilities.
“It is starting this week on all grounds. At the moment I cannot say when or what the actual plan is, but personnel should be deployed at venues this week,” he said.
Zimbabwe will play host to Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Angola and Mozambique in December.
A number of facilities which include the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Bulawayo Athletic Club, Bulawayo City Pool, Barbourfields Stadium, Luveve Stadium and White City Stadium will be the venues for the games.
“We expect to hand over the facilities by end of September. The funds are being handled by the government and provided by them. All we have to do is check on the progress of the work,” Manzungu said.
Recently the government secured $34 million for the construction of three hostels at Nust.
The hostels will accommodate 622 athletes each and are expected to accommodate a total of 3 000 athletes.
The project is expected to be completed by September.
Last year Sport, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa said the games budget was set at about $46 million with $36 million going towards infrastructure and $10 million for operational costs.
He said the youth games would benefit the city of Bulawayo and ease the accommodation problems at Nust, with the government committed to ensure the successful hosting of the games.
Most sports infrastructure in the city was last refurbished before the All-Africa Games which were held in 1995.