More than 1 000 athletes will compete in the Confederation of Southern Africa School Sport Associations (Cosassa) Ball Games which will be hosted by Namibia on August 31 and September 1.
At the launch of the Games on Tuesday, the national coordinator of the Namibia School Sport Union (NSSU) Solly Duiker said Namibia had offered to host the event to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the NSSU and school sport in Namibia.
“The NSSU offered to host the Ball Games on behalf of Cosassa because we are celebrating our 21st anniversary of school sport in Namibia,” he said.
Duiker said that the Namibian government had committed N$1,5 million for the Ball Games, while various corporates from the private sector had also come on board with cash and in-kind sponsorships. They include Bank Windhoek, FNB, Coca Cola, Xco Sport and Tongaat Hulett Namibia.
Besides Namibia, only four other countries have confirmed their participation, namely Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
South Africa has not participated since 2009, due to the restructuring of school sport in that country, but Duiker said they should be back on board soon while they also hoped to get more countries to participate in future.
“South Africa has not had a school sport union for the past three years, and school sport is now run by their government. But they have been negotiating and a school sport union will be back in place soon,” he said.
“We will hold a meeting next week, to be hosted by the Zone 6 chairperson Dr Veii, where we will look at ways to get more countries like Malawi, Mozambique and Angola to attend the Ball Games,” he added.
For the first time, the Cossasa Ball Games will also cater for primary school children with the participants due to compete in Under 17 and Under 13 competitions.
The sport codes participating at the Ball Games are basketball (boys and girls U17), cricket (boys and girls U13), soccer (boys and girls U13 and U17), netball (girls U13 and U17) and volleyball (boys and girls U13 and U17).
As part of the tournament, an NSSU Beauty Pageant will be held at the Unam Khomasdal Campus on August 30.
The opening ceremony of the Ball Games will take place on August 31 at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium, starting at 11h00 when Namibia’s Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture Kazenambo Kazenambo will give the keynote address.
The closing ceremony will take place at the Safari Court Hotel, starting at 17h00 on September 1, with Deputy Minister of Sport Pohamba Shifeta due to give the closing remarks.
The Ball Games will be played at three venues: The Independence Stadium (Boys U17 soccer and all soccer finals), Israel Patrick Iyambo Police College (volleyball) and Unam Main Campus (basketball, football U13 and U17 girls and netball).