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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Botswana hosts Southern African school athletics championships   

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- Athletes from five African countries have converged in Francistown, Botswana’s second largest city, to take part in the 2018 Confederation of School Sport Association of Southern Africa (COSSASA) athletics championships, which started on Monday.

The five countries being Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe will participate in the 2-day annual event previously held in Zimbabwe. This is the third time Botswana hosted the games, first in 2014 and again in 2016.

Speaking at the official opening of the games, Botswana’s Acting Minister of Basic Education, Thato Kwerepe said sport was important because it cemented and consolidated friendships.

He said sport brought peace and stability to regions, hence COSSASA games were aimed at promoting such.

“That is why in sport we are just one family,” he stated.

Kwerepe said the Ministry of Basic Education was committed to sport development and supporting events such as COSSASA games proved government’s resolve to developing sport.

He said sport was important in promoting discipline, reducing drug abuse and helping reduce school dropout problem.

COSSASA president Johnson Madhaku thanked member states for their continued support to the association and encouraged participants to make good use of the opportunity.

Meanwhile, Francistown mayor Sylvia Muzila said the main objective of the games was to groom future stars as well as maintain peace, stability, friendship, happiness and togetherness among athletes from member states.

The games are viewed as a stepping stone for future regional and international sports persons.

South Africa could not attend due to logistic challenges. 

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