Team Zimbabwe Named for Region 5 Games

The Sports and Recreation Commission yesterday announced Team Zimbabwe consisting of 290 athletes, coaches and officials for the upcoming Africa Union Region 5 Under 20 Youth Games to be held in Bulawayo December 5-14.  Speaking at a press conference held at Prince Edward School, Chef de Mission Sebastain Garikayi announced with confidence Zimbabwe’s full team competing in all nine disciplines being played at the games.  Garikayi and his deputy  Tirivashe Nheweyembwa said national sports associations were responsible for team selection for their various disciplines.Zimbabwe will battle with ten other Southern African countries for medals at the games, held biannually, competing with young sportsmen and women from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia. The advantage of hosting this large international sporting tournament means a limited budget can host a larger team.Team Zimbabwe includes 50 athletes in athletics disciplines, 20 each in girls and boys football and an overall contingent of 224 competitors in the nine disciplines of track and field, basketball, boxing, football, judo, netball, swimming, tennis and track and field for the visually impaired. Oddly, only two boys and two girls were selected to represent Zimbabwe in tennis, a sport in which we are relatively strong in the region.Last weekend, a majority of those chosen for the track and field team came to a camp in Harare at National Sports Stadium.  This upcoming weekend, all those not writing national exams will convene to start training camp at Bulawayo Polytechnic with the rest of Team Zimbabwe joining them after the conclusion of exams.The selected team named includes World Youth Games competitors sprinters Ruvarashe Mzinde of Hillcrest College and Michael Songore of Peterhouse College, as well as all three Zimbabwean track competitors in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games:  Enlitha Ncube , Titus Nyathi, and Maryjoy Mudyiravanji.  SSN Player of the Month winners triple jumper Brian Mada of St Faith’s High, hurdler Mazvita Mtisi of Hillcrest College and swimmer Ratidzo Mutangadura of Chisipite Senior School are also part of the team.  Zimbabwe recalled some student athletes from South Africa for the Region 5 games including runners Chido Dzinotyiwei and Shingiriayi Hlangayo and swimmer Chad Idensohn.The delegation yesterday named Zimbabwe’s brand ambassadors with James Lawson and Tsitsi Mahachi representing them at the press conference.  Though the role of the ambassadors remains vague, they suggested that their main purpose was to have peer-to-peer interaction with delegates from other countries visiting Zimbabwe. The games’ are running under the them “Reach for Greatness.”Athletics and netball will be held at White City Stadium, boxing at Large City Hall, swimming at Bulawayo Swimming Pool, tennis at Bulawayo Athletics Club and football at Barbourfields and Luveve Stadiums and judo at ZITF Halls 3 and 4. Athletes will stay at Hillside Teachers College and Bulawayo Polytechnic.These AUSC Region Five Youth Games will be the sixth since their advent in Mozambique in 2004.  They have been subsequently hosted by Namibia (2006), South Africa (2008), Swaziland (2010) and Zambia (2012).  Region Five includes 15 countries, though 11 are participating in the games this year.The full AUSC Team Zimbabwe can be found here.