The games began just over a week ago with a spellbinding opening ceremony that featured epic performances by local artists Maxy, Vee and Zeus. This was followed by spectacular performances by the young athletes, who surpassed expectations and did the country proud in their respective fields.
Like all good things, the 2nd Africa Youth Games, dubbed Gaborone 2014, have come to a spectacular end. The local teams did Botswana proud by surpassing their targeted 30 medals. But how was your BAYCOG experience? Sunday Standard Lifestyle took a walk around at the games to get the people’s views and experiences.
Gaone Tumelo (Logistics and Equipment volunteer)
I think the games were fantastic; our athletes did very well by surpassing the target. They showed that we can be competitive as a nation. I especially loved the way Karabo Sibanda won the 400 meter race. Attendance at the games was also impressive. My overall highlight of the games has to be the organisation of the games; this is the stuff we normally get to see only on TV. The games also showed how uniting sport can be, not just for the athletes but also the participating nations. I believe the spirit of the games will continue for some time especially after our team’s performance. This is the time for us to professionalise sport.
Kyle Apple (SA athlete, 200 m)
The games were great and very well organised. I also fell in love with Gaborone, and the people here are just wonderful. My highlights have to be the 400 and 100 meter races. I think the Botswana 400 metre guy ran a very good race. After the games I am looking forward to making our next Olympic team.
Astrid Mataja (parent)
The games presented the youngsters with an opportunity to excel in their respective codes. The public support has also been magnificent. In fact, the attendance has to be my highlight of the games. I have never experienced this kind of atmosphere before especially with so many countries taking part. The success of the games augurs well for the development of sports in Botswana.
Bridget Chiepe (former netball player)
I loved the opening ceremony. It was spectacular, but of course there is always room for improvement. Batswana have also been very supportive. Some sports like netball have never experienced so much support before. The performance of the netball team has to be my highlight. They deserved to have at least made the final. Following the games, sport will definitely grow in this country.
Bame Kontse (spectator)
The games have shown that Botswana is capable of hosting big tournaments. I loved the opening ceremony; it was super-nice. Sadly, knowing Batswana, the spirit will die as soon as the games end. They will all go back to football again. On the bright side, traffic will finally get back to normal here in Gaborone.