The vice president Slumber Tsogwane said the country considers sport to be one of the key factors in national development. Tsogwane shared the sentiments during the official opening of the 19th Confederation of Universities and Colleges Sport Association (CUCSA) which Botswana is hosting. He observed that Sport is a catalyst for development of communities, and also plays a key role in building the character of our youth. “It has also been used to mobilise people around issues such as social harmony and national unity, as well as causes of common good, among others,” said Tsogwane.
19th CUCSA Games bring together universities and colleges from nine (9) SADC countries and it is expected the games will promote people to people interaction among member states.
He also noted that Governments are faced with the challenges of drug and substance abuse among their youth. “The epidemic of drug and substance abuse has taken root in the region and is a cause of untold misery and lost opportunities. I implore the sporting fraternity, particularly you the athletes, to play a leading role in promoting healthy lifestyles among your peers,” advised Tsogwane.
The government of Botswana observed that sport is one of the vehicles that is vital in uniting and building the nation. Sport knows no boundaries and unites people from all cultures and walks of life. This unifying factor of sport is aptly reflected by the tag line for the 19th CUCSA Games which is HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/oneness?source=feed_text” #Oneness Through Sports. It is my hope that the participants at these games will be able to build friendships and networks which will go beyond their university days,” said Tsogwane.
The government of Botswana is keen on hosting major sporting events to expose youth to international competitions while also promoting global interest in many different aspects.
The image of sport has often times been tarnished by doping scandals and corruption. In this regard, I wish to re-emphasise the fact that there is no place for doping and corruption in sport and therefore athletes were implored to play clean sport and engage in drug free competition. The government views the school sport system as a vital cog in sport development, with teachers at the centre of this practical model. Sport and its associated activities can contribute in a meaningful way towards the much needed employment creation for the youth.
Nine (9) member countries are taking part in the games, bringing over 1100 athletes to compete in over 10 sporting codes and over 450 officials.
The games are played under the theme “SPORTS; key to a drug and alcohol FREE generation.”