Sikhumbuzo Moyo, senior sports journalist
MORE than 2,000 athletes and officials have been accredited for the ninth edition of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games to be held in Maseru, Lesotho, in December.
The Games were originally scheduled for last year, but postponed for a year due to the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They will now be held from December 3 to 12 and all 12 member states, including Seychelles and Mauritius, have confirmed their participation at the start of the countdown.
As preparations continue, the Heads of Mission (HOMs) will be in Maseru on October 20 for a final preparation meeting which will culminate in a team sports draw on October 22.
“Twelve Member States have confirmed their participation. We expect our CDMs to arrive on October 20 for a final preparation meeting with a team sports draw to be held on October 22, ”said Stanley Mutoya, General Manager of Region 5 of Ausc , speaking from Lesotho ahead of a two-day troika of ministers meeting scheduled for Thursday. and Friday.
The objectives of the Games are to encourage young athletes to progress to stadiums where they can in the future represent their nation and the whole region, allow young people from different Member States to meet, mingle and get to know each other, thus developing the required community spirit. and regional integration.
They also help to develop a spirit of fair play, mutual respect and Olympism among young athletes in the region and provide opportunities for countries in the region to come together to work on an agreed common sports program.
Mozambique was the inaugural host of the Games in 2004, while Botswana hosted the last Games in 2018 before the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020 forced countries to be locked down and all sporting activities.