TEAM Bulawayo is sending a total of 143 athletes to take part in Block One and Block Two categories of this yeara��s edition of the Zimbabwe National Paralympics Youth Games slated for Gweru and Kwekwe.
The first phase will run from 15 to 20 August while the second block will compete from 20 to 22 August andA� according to Team Bulawayoa��s board member marketing and publicity, Dave Simba, their send-off ceremony will be held next week Wednesday atA� the Bulawayo City Hall Car Park.
a�?Team Bulawayo is ready to leave for Gweru. We are going to take a total of 143 athletes for both block events. In terms of resources, we appreciate the help that we have got so far and we would want more resources that will enable us to take two buses to Gweru. We would also want resources to incentivise our officials,a�? said Simba.
With the 10 geographical provinces battling it out first in the Under-13 and Under-18 categories, the two age groups will have both the able bodied and the paralympics running concurrently.
According to Simba, for the two age groups Team Bulawayo will take 96 able bodied athletes who will do battle in tennis, boxing, athletics, netball and chess sporting categories andA� a total of 42 at the paralympics will seek to do the city proud in V One Athletics, IC Athletics, Amputees, H One Netball and Five-A-Side.
For the second block, the U23 category a�� Bulawayo will send 39 able bodied plus 66 participants for paralympics.
The 39 participants will take part in athletics, pool, netball and tennis. There will be V One athletics, IC athletics, Amputees, Goal ball, wheelchair tennis and H One netball for 66 remaining Bulawayo representatives in the Under-23 category.
Meanwhile, preparations for this yeara��s edition of the National Youth Games that are pencilled for the Midlands are at an advanced stage with the organisers, saying they had covered much ground.
Midlands Provincial Sports Coordinator, Simon Masaka, said the preparations were going well with most ground having been covered so far.
a�?I can say we have covered 75 percent of the preparations so far. We have secured all our game villages and venues and we are ready for the games. We are however, still working on the athletics track at Chaplin High School, but we are confident that it will be done by the 14th of August. Other than that all other venues are ready for use,a�? said Masaka.
Masaka said they had budgeted $1,3 million for the smooth flow of the games.
a�?For the preparations for the Games including refurbishing of sports facilities, we had initially set aside $1,3 million and it seems so far we are still in line with the budget.
a�?We have prepared game villages like Chaplin, Regina Mundi, Thornhill, Nashville High Schools, Midlands State University, and Mkoba Teachers College that will offer both accommodation and venues. We also have venues like Ascot Stadium and Zim-Alloys ground in Gweru and Kwekwe Sports Club and Kwekwe Polytechnic in Kwekwe,a�? added Masaka.