Monday, February 26, 2024

Hosting Olympic Youth Games will leave a lasting sports legacy

Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) has put a bid to host the 2022 Youth Olympic Games with the belief the hosting will improve sports in the country.


It will be the first time the continent host the games and Botswana having hosted the second Youth Africa Games believe they will be able to stage the world youth event.

The AYG were hailed a success and the officials within the country believed Botswana did well and it will be easy to host many other big sporting events.

As a direct sports legacy from hosting the Africa Youth Games, Botswana unearthed a lot of talented athletes who are now hoisting high the country’s flag in international events.

Among the local athletes who came to prominence following the games are the likes of Baboloki Thebe, Karabo Sibanda, Galefele Moroko as well as boxer Rajab Otukile, just to mention but a few.

Speaking in an interview, Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho said hosting the Youth Olympic Games will unearth even more local talent than the Africa Youth Games did.

“The talented athletes we unearthed during the AYG are doing well representing the country on international level. If we do host the youth Olympics, which are much bigger, we will then expect to unearth even more talent which will represent us in years to come,” he opined.

As with the AYG, Serufho said hosting the games will also result with the introduction and development of more sporting codes in the country.

“In 2014 when we hosted the Africa Youth Games, new sporting codes were introduced in Botswana. This will also happen again and in a larger scale should we host the Youth Olympics,” the BNOC CEO stated.

Local sporting codes also benefited a lot as international codes donated equipment geared towards developing athletes, something Serufho said will happen again if Botswana wins the Youth Olympics hosting rights.

If the country wins the bid it will be expecting 28 – 30 sporting codes to compete during the games.

The large number of participating and competing codes means Botswana will have to develop its officials and other stakeholders in areas of hospitality and other logistical needs that will benefit the country in other future endeavours of hosting major events.

If the country wins the bid to host, they will have to maintain the status or improve the available infrastructure so that by the time the games begin everything is in order. The games village also has to be of high standard and be able to accommodate all athletes and officials who will be accredited to participate in the games.

The other thing that benefits the host nation is the legacy. The sporting officials will gain valuable knowledge that is expected to be used in the future.

Since independence in 1966, Botswana has enjoyed peace and tranquillity which gives them optimism that they can host memorable and enjoyable games without threats. As such, the country has also hosted big sporting events, among them the World Netball Youth Cup last year, World Softball and baseball conference and International Working Group On Women and Sport, just to mention but a few.


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