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Botswana to host 2nd Africa Youth Games in 2014

2013-03-14 16:12:00 Xinhuanet

GABORONE, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Botswana has been granted the opportunity to host the second edition of the Africa Youth Games to be staged in 2014 on a date and month yet to be announced.

A host contract between the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the local organizing committee represented by the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture was signed on Wednesday in Gaborone, Botswana's capital.

Early last year, Botswana declared its intention to host the second edition of the African Youth Games and the official declaration was made at the London 2012 Africa house on 2 August 2012 during a ceremony attended by a host of dignitaries.

The games are targeting young Africans athletes (boys and girls) aged between 18 years and below. The Games will be held at a date and month yet to be announced in Gaborone, Botswana.

A total of 14 sports disciplines will be on the program: Athletics, Basketball (3 vs 3), Boxing, Fencing, Football, Gymnastics, Judo, Rowing, Swimming, Table Tennis; Taekwondo, Tennis and Wrestling. Exceptionally, 2 sports: Swimming and Gymnastics will be hosted in Gaborone and the periphery venues.

"The Africa Youth Games shall not only be limited to sports encounters for the young across the continent but will also include a culture and education program. The Africa youth games will be a catalyst power of sport to promote friendship, unity and peace." said ANOCA President Intendant General Lassana Palenfo at the signing ceremony.

"Our government is going to avail enough resources to ensure that the games will be organized successfully. Through the Africa Youth Games our hope is that if young people can learn to respect each other on the field of play, they may transmit this to the other parts of their daily lives," said Ponatshego Kedikilwe, Botswana's Vice President.

The Africa Youth Games are expected bring together a total of 2 500 athletes from all over Africa plus about 300 teams officials.

Initiator of these games, ANOCA will inject funds in the organization of the Games, said its president General Lassana Palenfo.

This development has got the potential of boosting the country's tourism sector as both athletes and spectators would require accommodation and catering services, said the BNOC Chief Executive Officer Tuelo Serufho.

Serufho noted that many benefits will be reaped from hosting the games of this magnitude in a developing country like Botswana.

The African Youth Games are a multi-sport competition for athletes aged 18 years and below drawn from 54 countries in the African continent.

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