Team Zimbabwe to the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth in Gaborone, Botswana came an overall 5th out of 10 participating countries with 9 gold, 13 silver and 29 bronze medals. The Team was officially welcomed back by the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Hon. Dr Kirsty Coventry in Harare.
The Minister congratulated the Team for their sterling performance at the Games and indicated that as a Ministry they were looking at forging partnerships to be able to adequately support the various teams. Hon. Dr Coventry was pleased to note that young athletes were raising the flag very high but bemoaned the lack of support from the Corporate World.
“As a Ministry one of our goals is to pursue partnerships which will promote the development of sport in the country and this is something that we will ensure receives attention through the Sports and Recreation Commission in the coming year.
“Our door is open as a Ministry and we would like to stay connected with what you will be doing until the next Games because we believe that you always want to have a team to help you achieve your goals whether it’s the African Games next year in Morocco or the Olympic Games in 2020, we need to assist you to achieve your goals,” Minister Coventry said.
Also during the welcome ceremony Team Zimbabwe’s General Manager Shadreck Chatunga gave an account of the Team’s performance and he noted that every athlete who participated in the Games came back home with a medal.
“Although we had a relatively small team but I must confess that our performance was better than the previous outing to Luanda, Angola where we were fortunate to carry the entire contingent of 290 athletes and officials and came back with 19 gold medals and an overall of 96 medals. This was not good enough if we compare to this year’s team which has 62 athletes and 5 sporting disciplines.
“Our plea for the next Games is may the National Sport Associations come to the party and not to let the show be run by the Team Management Committee, we also request that resources for preparations should be released well ahead of time so that we have adequate preparations” Chatunga added.
This is the second time that Zimbabwe has failed to be in the top 3, in 2012 in Zambia Zimbabwe came 8th this was again to do with a very small team of 43 athletes and officials.