AUSC set to meet in Maseru

AUSC set to meet in Maseru

Maseru – Members of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 committee are in Lesotho for an executive meeting set to be held from May 3 to 5. Lesotho is set to host the 9th edition of the AUSC Region 5 Games in 2020 and is busy preparing for the games. The executive committee, meanwhile, meets twice every year in member states on a rotational basis. Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, AUSC Region 5 chief executive officer Stanley Mutoya said the purpose of the forum is to unpack programmes towards establishing AUSC Paralympics Games, the classification of visually impaired and disabled athletes as well as assessing the performance of Region 5 nations at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games that were held in Australia earlier this month.

Mutoya said the meeting will look at the successes of the region’s athletes and their shortcomings so that the AUSC can introduce policies that will drive the development of sport in the region. He said the forum will also look at how the AUSC is playing a role in driving the strategic plan for 2018 to 2028 for people with disabilities. Another forum is that of Women in Sport, which will look at how women performed overall at the Commonwealth Games. “I must tell you, in this region the successes that we are celebrating at every level come from female athletes, that’s why today names like Maria Mutola from Mozambique, Caster Semenya from South Africa they resonate with success at the highest level. The first gold medal to be won in sport in Olympic Games was in 1980 by a hockey team from Zimbabwe and it was all female,” he said.

“The successes by women are documented and therefore as the region we take pride in investing in capacity development in supporting the initiatives that promote women and girls in sport. So the Women in Sport Committee is sitting looking at how they have performed as women, sharing and analysing what they have seen at the Commonwealth Games. We won a total of 44 medals and they come from South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Out of these 44 medals 13 of them came from women, and out of the gold medals won 33 percent of them came from women and those are the critical things being looked at,” he said.

On Thursday, the development commission will sit to assess all the technical problems they have in terms of how they are driving the success, women in sport as well as people with disability will be represented in the forum. Mutoya said as a region the AUSC realised that it cannot improve sport at the highest level and development level by neglecting schools sport. COSSASA and the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation will also be represented at the meeting.

“They will be making a comprehensive assessment on what progress, successes, milestones and what challenges (were) encountered technically to ensure that we drive sport in this region around development, high performance, infrastructure and capacity,” Mutoya said.

Luciah Phahla

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