Malawi set to host 5 AU regional games

Malawi has been commended for its commitment in preparing for the African Union Region 5 (AUR5) games to be held in December this year and in which 16 countries and 2,000 athletes are expected to participate.

The Region 5 Games kicked off in Lilongwe on Thursday with the organizing committee impressed with the preparations so far

Speaking at the launch, AUR5 Organizing Committee Chairman Stanley Mutoya said he was impressed with the preparation of the games in terms of facilities.

Mutoya commended the Republic of Malawi through the Minister of Youth for inviting the committee, in the tradition of the Region 5 Youth Games, to appreciate the preparations.

He said the launch of the Region 5 Games marks an important ritual that defines the DNA of the Games and symbolically announces to the Region, Africa and the world that the Games are indeed certain.

Mutoya said the launch was massive as every athlete, coach, technical official and sports administrator anticipates the ethos of the Games and indeed Malawi made this emphatic statement in a particular way.

He indicated that article 26 of this protocol mobilizes the States parties to collaborate in the organization of regional tournaments in different sports codes. This declaration gave rise to what later became the SADC Under-20 Games before being renamed the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa Zone VI Under-20 Games before being transformed in 2014 in Region 5 Youth Games.

“As Region 5, we are proud to be the main focus of innovation and excellence. Indeed, we have lived up to that billing over the years.

“These Games have become a hotbed of talent, a bastion of exuberance and a beacon of excellence throughout their eighteen-year run. Sports icons and legends have been produced and shaped from the tracks, stadiums and arenas of these Games,” Mutoya said.

He added that Malawi has therefore not made a mistake in organizing these Games which are organized by all the Region 5 Youth Games in turn in alphabetical order.

The head of the Region 5 Organizing Committee said as Malawi kicks off the Games and unveils its marks and symbols today, it sends an emphatic message to the region and the wider world that its turn happened to showcase the rich culture and heritage that defines it. sovereignty and unique identity as the warm heart of Africa.

He said that with the way the world and even Africa has been ravaged by the ruthless invisible enemy called COVID 19, which has left youngsters’ sporting careers moribund and economies on their knees, games are a way to to rekindle hope among young people to help them rediscover their sporting career once again and regain the belief that Africa is indeed a giant that deserves to dine with the world kings and queens of sport and ride a once again the hands of time to those pre-COVID 19 glory days.

Mutoya then clarified the good number of athletes graduating from the A5 games including; Muhe, like Collins Mbesuma, the iconic Caster Semenya and Wayde Van Niekerk,

from South Africa who turned into the iconic world champion in athletics, Nigel

Amos who became world junior 800m athletics champion, Naomi

Botswana swimming sensation Ruele, Zimbabwe’s Donata Katai, football poster boy Kama Billiat, Partson Daka now plays for Leicester City in the English Premier League football and most recently Christine Mboma from Namibia.

He said that these came out of these Games and became shining stars and world champions of which the region is proud.

“Government investment in these Games has not been in vain. Lives and livelihoods have been profoundly transformed by these Games.

“Nations have been united through the successes of their respective athletes across the length and breath of the globe. Infrastructure has been improved and businesses have been established, societies have been woven and countries have become prime tourist destinations due to the publicity they have received from these Games,” he said.

In his speech, Sports Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda said he was delighted to announce that through these Games, the government is funding the construction of a world-class aquatic complex that will be able to host any international competition once completed.

Chimwendo said this will be part of sport’s contribution to tourism in the process of bringing in much-needed foreign currency.

“The Griffin Saenda Indoor Complex is a monumental investment that not only serves as an iconic sanctuary for our revered netball player and a breeding ground for talented youngsters. It is a bold statement of the government’s resolute efforts towards women’s empowerment and sports development,” said Chimwendo Banda.

The minister explained that when completed, the facility will house a state-of-the-art multipurpose arena for squash, handball, futsal, netball, volleyball, basketball, tennis and a variety of other disciplines. indoor sports that will change the face of sporting events. accommodation in Malawi.

Chimwendo said the Region 5 Youth Games will also lead to the improvement of competition facilities such as CIVO Stadium and CIVO Community Sports Center, among others.

“These Games will directly lead to the upgrading of other facilities such as the LUANAR hostels where plans are underway to refurbish the hostels which will subsequently improve the accommodation environment at the university.

“There will be massive development and upgrading of infrastructure that will make Malawi a destination of choice through improved internet connectivity, improved hotels and lodges and better service delivery,” he said. declared.

Chimwendo Banda added that the country’s health service delivery and infrastructure will also receive a major boost and an upgrade in its equipment.

“There will be a modernization of our energy industry as we strive to invest in renewable and environmentally friendly sources of energy to power our sports facilities over the long term,” he said.

The minister said the Games will also lead to human capital development through the training of more than 400 technical officials who will then raise the flag of Malawi higher while officiating at other major international competitions.

“This is an important Games legacy that will outlast the memories of our successful hosting of the event,” said Chimwendo Banda.

At the launch, AFM President Walter Nyamilandu, Malawi Boxing Association President Likagwa Zuma were also present.

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