AUSC Team Zim trimmed

HARARE - Zimbabwe will send at least 86 athletes to this year’s edition of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games set for Gaborone, Botswana in December.

The Games which are held once every two years and on a rotational basis are the brainchild of the AUSC Region 5 formerly the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa and were initiated in 2004 in Maputo in Mozambique.

“As Zimbabwe we have fared very well in these Games ever since their inception and we are also happy that some of the athletes who once participated in these Games have graduated to a higher level of sport development and competition.

“Examples which come to mind include Gabriel Mvumvure from athletics, Alexandra Maseko from Basketball and Mercy Mukwadi from Netball among others,” Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) spokesperson Tiri Nheweyembwa said.

“This positive outcome from the Games has given us the urge to continually participate in them as there are tangible results arising out of them though we are mindful of the need to do more for the benefit of not only the young people but the nation as a whole.”

The 86 athletes will represent Zimbabwe in such disciplines like swimming, athletics, netball, athletics for the visually impaired and girls’ football.

Due to a lack of recourses, the SRC had to remove other disciplines like basketball, boxing, gymnastics, judo, volleyball and boys’ football from the travelling delegation.

“While there are some positives which can be drawn from the government’s unquestionable commitment to the Games, let me hasten to say that throughout the world, sport is not also to a large extent supported by the corporate world, something which we see happening at a very low scale in this country especially at junior level which is the foundation of sport development,” Nheweyembwa said.

“It is therefore our clarion call to the corporates to consider partnering us in this noble initiative which does not only bring glory to our beautiful country but also sets it on a higher pedestal with respect to international image and global appeal.

“Although we have a small team we remain hopeful that our team will acquit itself well and bring us home the medals in their numbers.”

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