Dates set for AUSC games
THE African Union Sport Council (AUSC) 2020 Games chairperson Fusi Notoane says they have finally agreed on the dates for the regional youth games which are set to be hosted by Lesotho.
The games will run from the 4th to the 13th of December 2020 in Maseru.
The under-20 games are biennially hosted on a rotational basis by Region 5 member states namely Angola, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, eSwatini, Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana.
Last year, the games were hosted by Botswana where Lesotho returned with 13 medals.
Notoane told the media this week that they have already met with the games’ regional organising committee and have finalised the dates. He said this will now make the preparations easier for the local organising committee.
“The dates have been set for the games and have been confirmed by the regional committee so, now we are working with clear timelines,” Notoane said.
Maseru is expected to host about 3000 athletes and 1500 officials from 10 Region 5 countries which will compete in 11 sporting codes.
Ten of the sporting codes namely, boxing, judo, trampoline, netball, volleyball, tennis, football, athletics, swimming and basketball are regular features at the games. According to Notoane, the other one will be selected by Lesotho, who have been given a chance by the AUSC regional committee to select one sporting code of their choice as the hosts.
“We have 10 sporting codes already confirmed by the regional committee and we have been given a chance to select one of our choice to make them 11. We have not decided yet but these games are highly regulated and for a sporting code to be part in the games, it should be played in at least three of the 10 participating countries.”
On the country’s readiness to host the games, Notoane said they are trying to involve all the stakeholders and ensure that everything is in order.
He however, said it is not their responsibility to see that team Lesotho is ready but rather it’s the responsibility of the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) and the Lesotho National Olympics Committee (LNOC).
“We are not organising these games for Lesotho but rather for the regional committee. It is not our responsibility to prepare Team Lesotho. However, as patriots, we are still hoping that they will do well and we would want to see them doing well,” he said.
In terms of infrastructure, Notoane, who is the former Ministry of Trade and Industry Principal Secretary, said they have already been consulting with expects who have promised that by the time games begin, all the requirements will be in place.
He said they have already identified two places (National University of Lesotho and Lepereng) one of which will house an indoor games facility.
The national tennis courts are also set to be moved from the Moshoeshoe I statue to Polo Ground.
“We have also started engaging with experts in that field and we have confirmation that the infrastructure will be ready by the time the games begin. We will to need to build new infrastructure but some facilities will just be renovated.
“Although the final choice is yet to be made, NUL and Lepereng have also been earmarked for the construction of an indoor games facility. The national tennis courts are also going to be moved to Polo Ground and this will start in few coming weeks,” Notoane said.