By Tirivashe Nheweyembwa

The Zimbabwe National Youth and Paralympic Games which were scheduled to be held in December were again postponed to April 2019 in Midlands Province. This is was disclosed at a Games Assembly that was held in Gweru recently to the members of the Assembly who included Provincial General Managers, Sport Competition Directors, members of the Local Organizing Committee, Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and the conveners Sports and Recreation Commission.

The reason for the further deferment of the Games was another outbreak of cholera after the Typhoid outbreak in Gweru in July this year.

“Following our consultation with key Ministries such as the Ministry of Health and Childcare, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Home Affairs and other stakeholders regarding the hosting of the Zimbabwe National Youth and Paralympic Games in December this year, we have been advised that as the Games be postponed further to April 2019.

“This is being done in order to give more time to the Ministry of Health and Child Care to have more time to contain the outbreak of the cholera and typhoid which the country is currently grappling with and which has been declared a national disaster”, said Ignatius Vambe Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Deputy Director Sport Recreation.

During the Assembly all the provinces were given an opportunity to update the meeting on their state of preparedness and from their updates most provinces were on course to ensure that they participate in the Games. However, the major challenge that was noted that was that most provinces had not yet entered their teams with LOC and were urged to do so if the Games were to be a success.

“As the Midlands Province we are ready to host the Games but there is need for the participating provinces to furnish us with the details relating to their team sizes so that we can effectively plan in such a manner that we do not have chaos during the course of the Games. Our approach is that we must be able to accredit the team well before they come to Midlands Province, this will also allow us to effectively arrange for the transport, accommodation, catering and the sport competition programme” James Chivivi said the CEO of the Games.

The Games which were slated for August this are going to run on 2 blocks which are Block 1 under 13 (Athletics, Football, Netball and Tennis), under 18 Youth and Paralympic sport codes which include athletics, basketball, boxing, netball, handball, cricket athletics for the visually impaired and others. Block 2 will have the under 23 Youth Games and the Paralympic Games open age group.

The postponement of the Games was well received by the Assembly and it was agreed that the previously approved sport codes were not going to be changed.