CUCSA games get underway

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  • P5.5 million budget met
  • Mozambique pull out of the games

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

President Mokgwetsi Masisi officially opened the Confederation Of Universities and Colleges of Southern Africa (CUCSA) games yesterday (Monday). The games are made of 10 SADC countries ( Botswana, Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) with over 2500 athletes competing in various sporting codes such as football, basketball, swimming, tennis, karate and badminton to mention a few.
Botswana were awarded the rights to host the games earlier this year, which is now the third time the country has hosted the championships. CUCSA president, Ben Naobeb recently expressed his confidence in Botswana staging a world class event. He also said they were satisfied with the facilities that will be used during the course of the competitions.
Though many events seem to always decry financial constraints, Gazette Sport understands that the P5.5 million budget for the games has been met. Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology had donated P3 million towards the games, and also First National Bank (FNB) added a further P3 million.
However, it appears that Mozambique will not be participating in this year’s edition. The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) have long been waiting for Team Mozambique to confirm their participation, and the country failed to do so in time for the start of the competition. This now means that only nine (9) countries will do battle across the 11 sporting codes.
Meanwhile, Team Botswana Chef de mission, Mompoloki Keakile said the team is ready and looking forward to representing the country with pride. He said though the team is faced with a couple of injuries, the team doctors and the physiotherapist were giving the injuries the necessary attention and for that, they were confident that the injured athletes will be fully fit to compete.
Keakile also stated that preparations went well, stating that some of the athletes took part in the recent events held by the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA), and also adding that some players were engaged in tournaments facilitated by the Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA).
Team Botswana finished third at the last CUCSA games in 2016 which were held in Zimbabwe and will be looking to better their position in this year’s edition.