Sports Correspondent @rasmthembo
BULAWAYO is set to host the 2016 Confederation of Universities and College Sports Association (CUCSA) Africa Region Five Games in August with the precursor to the event, the Zimbabwe Tertiary Institution Sports Union (Ztisu) kicking off at White City yesterday. The Ztisu games got underway with the mainstream athletics at White City and are set to run until Wednesday.
Ztisu president Martin Zibwi said they were using the games to select players that will represent the country at the Region Five Games that will have 10 participating countries.
Zibwi said he convinced his executive to take advantage of the facilities that were built for the Under-20 Region Five Games that were hosted by Bulawayo in 2014 such as the tartan track at White City, the state of the art basketball courts and the revamped Bulawayo Athletic Club tennis courts to host the Cucsa games. Zimbabwe would be hosting the biennial Games for the first time in 25 years as they were last held in Harare in 1991. The 18th edition of the Cucsa Games will run from 1 to 6 August.
There was a change in the hosting procedure from a bidding process to being held rotationally in all the 10 countries to ensure all nations host the Games. The 10 countries in Cucsa Region Five are Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
There are nine sporting codes that would be contested for which include football, basketball, tennis, table tennis, chess, athletics, netball, karate and volleyball.
Ztisu is made up of three affiliates Zimbabwe Universities Sports Association (Zusa), Zimbabwe Teachers’ Colleges Sports Association (Zitcosa) and Technical Educationists Sports Association in Zimbabwe (Tesaz) who each sent two teams to compete in each sporting discipline.
Zibwi said athletes from team sports will be selected on individual merit to ensure Zimbabwe has a strong team going to the Cucsas.
“We realised there are situations where one individual is brilliant but if his team falters he should be drafted into the winning team. For example in football we can have a good defender, striker or anchorman in a losing team he should be drafted into the team that will represent us at the Cucsas,” said Zibwi, adding the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) are this year’s hosts of the Ztisu games.
Athletics and netball will be held at White City Stadium with football being played at Barbourfields Stadium Outside Grounds, Khanyisile Sports Centre (formerly BCD) will be host basketball, while Hartsfield and Raylton will be used for rugby and darts respectively.
Golfers will use the Harry Allen greens while cricket, tennis, pool and table tennis will be played at BAC and the Heath Streak Academy and Busters respectively. Local schools Northlea and Milton will be used for handball, volleyball while Lupane State University will play host to chess with Khumalo Hockey Stadium home to the hockey competition. Bulawayo Bowling Club will host the karate championships.
Zimbabwe managed a credible third position at the 17th edition of Cucsa games held in Zambia in 2012 collecting 40 medals, seven gold, 16 silver and 17 bronze medals. The athletics team contributed the largest number of the medal haul with 18.
South Africa came first followed by Zambia with Zimbabwe retaining its third position which they occupied in the previous Games which were staged in Namibia.