The Botswana Athletics Youth Games Organising Committee (BAYGOC) is looking beyond just hosting a successful event.
“We want to leave a lasting impression and position Botswana as a destination of choice for world class sports events,” said BAYGOC Marketing and Outreach Manager Olebogeng Lejowa.
“After these games Botswana will never be looked at the same way again,” she said.
African Youth Games are preparatory competitions for the Youth Olympics. The games are expected to attract about 4000 junior athletes from 54 African nations. The games would kick start in May 2014 in Gaborone.
“These games are very important for young African athletes. They prepare them for the big stage at the Olympic games and some codes will use them for Olympic qualification,” Lejowa told Voice Sport.
The youth games targets young people of ages 14-18 years old. The first games were hosted by Morocco and Botswana got the second bid.
Besides being qualifiers, Lerjowa said the skills transfer for locals will prepare the country for future major sport events.
“We are using interns who will be capacitated to deliver even bigger sports project in the future,” she said.
“The level of these games is very high, and we intend to position them as a fun experience to inspire thousands of young people,” said Lejowa.
Lejowa further said although government and private some companies have pledged money, they need more people to come on board.
“We need all the help we can get. Be it technical, moral or anyhow,” she said.
Meanwhile the Minister of Youth Sports and Culture Shaw Kgathi called on the private sector to take this opportunity and help the nation to deliver a successful event.
Speaking a fortnight ago when accepting the bid Kgathi said Botswana put together a good proposal to convince the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) to award them the right to host.
“Now we need to all work hard to ensure that this event is successful,” he said.