By Tirivashe Nheweyembwa

The annual National Youth Education through Sport (YES) festival will take place on
8-11 December 2017 in Gweru and provinces are now at various stages of the preparation for the sport and educational extravaganza which targets boys and girls who are aged 15 and below.

The festival is the climax of the YES programme which runs from January to December will see teams competing in Tree planting, Peer Education and Sport (football, netball and volleyball) and all the ten provinces are expected to attend, approximately 1200 athletes and officials will in descend in the Midlands City of Gweru for the 3 day festival.

“Prior to the hosting of the National YES Festival, all provinces are required to have hosted provincial qualifiers to select teams that will represent them at the festival and all the teams are expected to have done competitions in all the three components of the YES programme which are sport, peer education and community projects.

“The best teams have to be selected on the basis of them scoring higher points in all the components to include a records file of the activities undertaken during the period leading to the festival”, said Moreways Changa SRC’s Acting Recreation Manager.

As provinces prepare for the YES festival, it must be borne in mind that they have to also ensure that the Adjudicators are well acquainted with the dictates of the Technical Guidelines so that they may not be surprised during the festival.
“In some instances we have seen some teams crying foul when they have lost at the Festival and we noted that it is largely to do with the adjudication that they would have been exposed to, and to that end, resources permitting we will be running an Adjudicators workshop in order to ensure that we bring everyone up to speed with the demands of the Technical Guidelines which we issued out to all the provinces a while ago”, Changa added.

The Youth Education through Sport (YES) Festival is a precursor to the hosting of the Revised Zimbabwe National Youth and Paralympic Games set to be held in Midlands in 2018. The Midlands province is expected to use the staging of the YES Festival to test and measure the effectiveness of the systems and procedures that they would have put in place.

Let’s hope that the Midlands province will shine like a polished diamond by delivering memorable Games both in December and in August next year.