By Sports Reporter
THE 2018 edition of the National Youth and Paralympic Games which were set to begin on Wednesday in Gweru have been postponed to a date yet to be announced due to a typhoid outbreak that has so far claimed five lives in the Midlands capital.
Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa last week visited Gweru to assess the situation after the typhoid outbreak which reports say has claimed five and affected over 100 residents.
Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) communications corporate communications officer Tirivashe Nheweyembwa confirmed that the National Youth and Paralympic Games programme had been affected by the outbreak and new dates would be announced soon.
“Further to our communication regarding the Zimbabwe National Youth and Paralympic Games, kindly take note that the Ministry of Health and Child Care will on Monday release the tests results on the typhoid outbreak in Gweru,” Nheweyembwa said.
“In this regard, and without doubt the Games’ programme has been affected therefore a technical meeting with the key stakeholders will be held on Wednesday to determine the new dates. By way of this communication, we are confirming that the Games will be held in Gweru but we are awaiting the results and determination on the new dates for the Games,” he said.
More than 7 500 athletes and officials were expected to converge in Gweru for the annual games which were scheduled to kick off on August 15 and run up to the end of the month.
This year’s Youth Games were also going to see a number of athletes being chosen to represent the country at the African Union Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games that are pencilled in for Gaborone, Botswana, in December.
The National Youth Games were inaugurated in 2003 in Bulawayo as a national strategy meant to enhance sport development among the youths who are below the age of 20 and currently includes sporting disciplines such as athletics, basketball, boxing, handball, football, netball, tennis and volleyball.
Hosting of the Games is done on a rotational basis. Athletes who excel in these games are identified by the National Sport Associations and are further nurtured through training and exposure to higher levels of competition.