NYG venues disappoint residents

MUTARE - The National Youth Games are coming to life today amidst disgruntlement over venues which are not easily accessible for most Mutare residents.

Populous high density areas Dangamvura and Chikanga where the majority of locals reside have been totally ignored with the Local Organising Committee (Loc) choosing venues in other areas.

The games expected to be officially opened by vice president Emerson Mnangagwa.

Sakubva is the only high density suburb which will host a number of disciplines. All the athletics events will be held at Sakubva Stadium.

Dangare Primary School will host the netball competition while Mutare Teachers’ College is the venue for the handball competition.

Ellis Gledhill and Sakubva High schools will co-host the boys’ football tournament.

Boxing, for which Manicaland has no female participants, will be held at Queens Hall in the city centre.

The girls football tournament will be held at the Mutare Polytechnic’s Pavilion where there is likely to be few spectators as compared to the high density suburbs.

Minority sports tennis and girls basketball will be held at Mutare Girls’ High School located at the heart of the city centre.

Mutare Boys High School which is domiciled in a low density suburb will host boys’ basketball tournament with far flung Mary Mount Teachers’ College hosting volleyball.

“The games could have helped spark interest in sport as a potential professional area of pursuit for our young people,” David Chemwanyisa a Dangamvura resident said.

Cleopatra Nengomasha, who stays in Chikanga, was not amused by the choice of venues – particularly of volleyball.

“I love volleyball and there is no way I can however board two commuters to watch volleyball at Marymount Teachers’ College. Why would they do that?” Nengomasha queried.

Kumbirai Muchena said: “These games should ideally have even been hosted in community sports institutions which would allow the nation to invest in different provincial sport facilities each year as the hosting of the games rotate. Sport is clearly not a priority for the Loc and taking it to the people is also not on their agenda.”

Another issue which has risen is the limited advertising and publicity given to the Games in and around Mutare.

Efforts to get a comment from the organisers have been fruitless as they were said to be locked up in meetings for two days running.

The Loc had been battling to raise funds to organise the spectacle as they needed close to $1.2 million to cater for all the requirements.

Earlier this week, Mbada Diamonds provided the Loc with food items to be consumed by the participants.

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