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Region 5 nods to Malawi preparations

MPRESSED—Mutoya

African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 has declared that Malawi is ready to host its Youth Games in December despite some challenges.

Region 5 officials are in the country to continue their assessment of the country’s preparations for the Games.

The Games commence in Lilongwe on December 2, ending 15 days later.

Briefing journalists in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Region 5 Chief Executive Officer Stanley Mutoya, who is also chairperson for the organising committee, said Malawi has made great strides in preparing for the competition.

“We are happy with the status of preparedness. We have no doubt that Malawi will host successful games. Everything is not in place and we do not expect everything to be in place at the moment but we are on course,’’ Mutoya said.

While in the country, the officials toured facilities earmarked to host the Games including Bingu National Stadium (BNS), Civo Stadium, Griffin Saenda Sports Complex and the Aquatic Sports Complex at Kamuzu Institute for Sports.

BNS will host the opening and closing ceremonies besides being used as an athletics venue.

The tournament will also have the Under-17 Cosafa Boys and Girls Championship at Civo, with netball and volleyball being played at Griffin Saenda. Basketball games are scheduled for Civo.

Nalikule Teachers Training College and Natural Resources College will be Games villages.

Local Organising Committee Chairperson Dennis Mwambera said preparations to host the games are on track.

“We are working around the clock to ensure that we host successful games,’’ Mwambera said.

Early this year, Region 5 experts noted that some of the facilities need serious renovations to be certified fit for the event.

They noted that there was a need to fix floodlights and renovate dressing rooms and toilets at Civo.

Basketball technical development delegate Mothusi Thipe from Botswana said he was also impressed with the level of preparedness.

“We are impressed with the work done on the infrastructure. This is good and we are satisfied at this stage,’’ Thipe said.

Over 3,500 athletes and officials from Southern Africa will be in the country for the Games.

Athletes will compete in netball, basketball, football, tennis, swimming and athletics.

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