Saturday, July 20, 2024

Botswana presents official bid

Botswana recently declared their intention to host the 2nd edition of the African Youth Games. The official declaration was made at the London 2012 Africa house on 2 August 2012, a ceremony attended by a host of dignitaries.

Prominent amongst them were the country’s Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Shaw Kgathi, the President of ANOCA, Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, ANOCA Executive Committee members and many Presidents of African NOCs.

A series of addresses were delivered on the occasion. Negroes Kgosietsile, President of the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) first took the floor and placed the event in context, saying that his country would be delighted to host it.

Taking the cue from Kgosietsile, the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture officially declared his country’s intention to host the games.

Shaw Kgathi said his country was a haven of peace and stability that prides itself on an age-old tradition of good governance, which it seeks to perpetuate. This, of course, he said, creates an environment conducive for sports practice in keeping with the Olympic Charter and the values it advocates.

He said Botswana would be delighted to host the event and, predicating his argument on history, told the guests present that his country was capable of hosting this sporting and cultural jamboree. To back his claim, he said his country has hosted events of that magnitude before: the African Cadets Cup in 1997, the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Boxing qualifying tournament, and most recently, the 2011 African Junior Athletics Championships, just to mention a few.

When the President of ANOCA, Lassana Palenfo, took the floor, he declared that beyond the purely sporting dimension of these games (which allow for the identification and follow-up of budding talents) they are a multidimensional platform for African youths who are not always in the spotlight.

ANOCA was, thus, at all times pleased to stage the event for them. Other major highlights included a video presentation of the country’s infrastructural potential by the Secretary General of BNOC and the presentation of the official bid by the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.

The bid is now up for scrutiny by the ANOCA governing bodies. Issues relating to practical organization, sports and cultural programmes, as well as finances will be carefully addressed before a final decision is reached in respect of the hosting of the event billed for 2014. The African Youth Games are a major sports and cultural event meant for African youths aged less than 18. They were introduced by ANOCA in 2006 as a sequel to the ANOCA zone games.

The maiden edition took place from 13 to 18 July 2010 in Rabat, Morocco. 42 countries effectively participated in this edition, which was a resounding success.

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