MASERU – Minister of Sports, Dr. Mahali Phamotse, officially launched the 2020 African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre last Friday.
The regional showpiece will be held in Maseru next December, the first time Lesotho will host the championships.
The launch was preceded by a fun walk that started at the Setsoto Stadium, went around Maqalika, passed through Lesotho College of Agriculture (LCA) and ended back at the national stadium.
The aim of the festivities was to engage and encourage youth to show their commitment to the Maseru 2020 games.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) said next year’s games will provide a massive platform for the country’s youth to unleash their potential in sports and nurture their talent.
The fun walk was highlighted by the multitudes of youth from different high schools and tertiaries around Maseru who participated in different activities on the day.
Dr. Phamotse said the games will unlock local talent, help Lesotho’s athlete compete in the international arena and create job opportunities.
About 3000 athletes as well as 1500 officials from around the southern Africa region are expected to be in attendance and they will reside at the games village at the National University of Lesotho.
“Today marks a very important time for me as the minister responsible for the development of sports in the country,” Phamotse said.
“Through the requirements of the games we are hosting in this next year in December, we developed a logo, theme, mascot and a theme song for the upcoming games. These are the four components that we are going to unveil to the Basotho nation and also to the region,” she said.
Phamotse said the Maseru 2020 theme of ‘Unite, Rise and Build’ has been successfully chosen and is in keeping with the African Union Sports Council’s (AUSC) aspirations which, at their core, hope to unite African people so they can live in peace and harmony.
The minister also conveyed her special appreciation to the AUSC Region
5 leadership, who attended last Friday’s gala, for their support and guidance to the LOC ever since they started this journey towards Maseru 2020 last year.
“I’d also like to thank the Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in the name of Chief Thesele ‘Maseribane for being wonderful to the ministry, the Cabinet as well as every Mosotho that would like to see these games succeed although some believe that they will not succeed. I therefore ask for their support and for everyone’s support and I hope together we can unite, rise, build and shine,” Phamotse said.
Phamotse pleaded with parents to let their children join and participate in the games and enjoy an opportunity that has never come to this country before. She said their commitment and dedication can make the Maseru 2020 a success.
article by Mpinane Moshoeshoe