After Botswana successfully finished third as the hosts of the just ended 8th edition of the Region 5 Youth Games – Gaborone 2018, which officially came to an end this past Sunday, December 16 after amassing a total of 69 medals, Lesotho are the next hosts in 2020.
The leader of the medal pack is South Africa with a total of 144 (69 Gold), followed by Angola with 47 (16 Gold) and Botswana 69 (12 Gold). On account of the soaring temperatures in the past week, a decision was made to change the venue of the closing ceremony from the National Stadium to the UB Indoor Sports Arena.
Dignitaries and the public witnessed a closing Basketball finals game featuring Angola versus South Africa.
Reflecting on the week that was, the organisers said they are proud to have lived up to the spirit of the games which is based on a tripartite approach to the games themselves, environment and the cultural aspect.
“In line with the spirit of promoting culture, the cultural night was held at University of Botswana amphitheatre on Wednesday night where all the participating countries took part. The aim of the cultural event is to build unity as well as to promote the spirit of togetherness outside competition amongst the young athletes from the Region 5 countries. As part of promoting our Regional culture, athletes are required to eat the staple food of the hosting country.”
In order to promote environmental sustainability, a total of 19 trees were planted on Thursday inside the games village -University of Botswana at the corner of Mabuthu and Jawara road on the southernpart of the campus. The trees symbolise unity of the region since they areplanted in the same location where the park will serve as a legacy to UB forthe students to use as a resting and recreational area.
“We are happy to report that UB has planned to put benches.”
The trees were planted by amongst others, the Games Mayor, Professor Martin Mokgwathi, AUSC chairperson Dr Vetumbuavi Veii, AUSC-ROCChairman, George Jana, Region 5 Youth Games (LOC) chairman Labbeaus Peloewetse , Region 5 Youth Games, Gaborone 2018 General Manager, Steve Bothasitse , AUSC Executive Secretary Stan Motoya, BNSC CEO Falcon Sedimo , and all the 11 participating countries .
“The tree planting was itself a legacy project – adding to the list of other legacies that the Region 5 Youth Games, Gaborone 2018 will leave which are Refurbishment of The National stadium track, Upgrading and calibrating the timing system software, The Notwane Tennis courts have been refurbished, The University of Botswana Olympic size swimming pool has been refurbished and brought to FINA standard , The New international standard boxing ring has been bought for Boxing, a new wooden floor and basket poles have been bought for Basketball, New volleyball upright poles and mat were bought.”
Meanwhile Medal count at the end of the games ranked South Africa as number one after amassing 144 medals and Kingdom of Eswatini ranked 11th with just one bronze medal.
Botswana’s assistant minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Phillip Makgalemele handed the host rights to his counterpart from Lesotho to be the next hosts of the region 5 games in 2020 for the 9th edition of the games.