Locadia Mavhudzi, Midlands Correspondent
ABOUT 8 000 athletes and officials are expected to grace the National Youth and Paralympics games to be held in Gweru from July 27 to August 10 amid indications that preparations are now at an advanced stage.
President Mnangagwa is expected to officially open the Games on July 31.
In an interview yesterday, the Games’ chief executive officer James Muvirimi Chivivi confirmed that preparations are well on course.
“Preparations are now at an advanced stage. The President has already confirmed his availability to officially open the games on July 31.
“In terms of accommodation we have already secured accommodation for participants and officials and no one will sleep on the floor.
“We are looking forward to host 8 000 athletes and officials,” he said.
Chivivi said the games are going to be premised on quality and professionalism.
“We are taking these games as an opportunity to identify excelling sports people in various disciplines who will be able to represent our country in regional and international games. As such we have introduced a participation fee pegged at RTGS$168 which will go towards food and accommodation. We are expecting that institutions will only send top class performers,” he said.
Chivivi said the games will be divided into two blocks with first block covering virtual provinces and the second block will be for schools.
“The first block will mainly be accommodated at the Midlands State University. This block covers virtual provinces such as universities, teachers’ colleges, polytechnics, uniformed forces, agricultural colleges and vocational training colleges. These will compete up to August 3.”
He highlighted that the local organising committee still has challenges in terms of securing food and fuel.
“We need about 25 beasts to be able to sufficiently feed our people. We only have four in place right now but we will be receiving 10 more from the provincial chiefs through their Zunde Ramambo/Isiphala seNkosi coffers. We are also grateful to Parks and Wildlife Management Authority which also gave us four buffaloes. We are still appealing to well wishers to support us.”
He said in terms of fuel they are sourcing for 10 000 litres of petrol and 15 000 litres of diesel to cover the whole tournament.