The African Youth Games are an international multi-sport event held every four years to select athletes who will in turn participate in the Youth Olympics Games. The African Youth Games will help our young athletes to familiarise with the concept of the Youth Olympic Games whose structure is significantly different from any previous games in which they might have been involved in. To ensure that African athletes are sufficiently prepared to compete at this platform, the continental Olympic Games Governing Body, the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), resolved to stage the African Youth Games, with Morocco identified to stage the first Games. Morocco successfully delivered the Inaugural Edition of the African Youth Games. These Games attracted 2000 youth from 40 African countries competing across 16 sporting disciplines.
ANOCA invited countries to bid for the 2014 games. Botswana expressed interested, followed the bidding procedure and won the bid at the end. From May 22-31, 2014, Botswana will host the second edition of the African Youth games. The games have been dubbed Gaborone 2014. This year’s games are bigger and better. The games will be featuring 2500 athletes from 54 countries participating in 21 sporting codes. This will be the biggest sporting event ever staged in Botswana both in terms of the number of competitors involved, countries represented and sporting codes. This will be a historic milestone for Botswana as we have not had an opportunity of hosting such a prestigious sporting tournament before.
These are exciting times for Botswana. We have the pleasure of playing host to multinations, to share our culture and also learn from our visitors. Gaborone 2014 is an opportunity for Batswana to stand up, come together and each contribute in delivering a memorable event.
It is a culmination of months of hard work, determination, seriousness and commitment that got us this far. The volunteer movement has managed to secure impressive numbers of individuals who will be assisting in different aspects throughout the extravagant games. Let me take this opportunity to say thank you to those that will be giving their time and energy to the games, volunteering is a noble deed indeed. I strongly believe we are headed in the right direction of nation building. Your efforts will not go unnoticed.
Gaborone 2014 is here, let us all join in as we unleash Africa’s stars.