PREPARATIONS to host the 11th edition of the Zimbabwe National Youth Games in Bulawayo this year have started in earnest with the targeted venues being looked at by the Local Organising Committee.
The Games which are tentatively slated to run from August 17-25, will have 3 000 athletes and officials from the country's 10 provinces.
A budget of US$1,6 million has already been drawn up and about US$500 000 of the budget is earmarked for the renovation of the sporting facilities in the country's second largest city.
Participation fees have been pegged at US$80 per athlete for the seven-day sporting extravaganza.
The participants will compete in athletics, basketball, boxing, football, handball, netball, tennis and volleyball.
A Fair Play award, sponsored by the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee, will also be up for grabs. The provincial general managers of the participating provinces are expected in Bulawayo before the end of February for their assembly meeting.
Sport Commission communications officer, Tirivashe Nheweyembwa, said they are looking forward to the Games although they still need the corporate world to assist the provinces for the show to be a success.
"It is our anticipation that the process of preparing to host the Games will go according to script and we also have confidence in Bulawayo Province since this is their second time to host the Games and like wine, they have matured with age.
"We are still appealing for partners to assist us host these Games which have no doubt produced stars such as the current Goalkeeper of the Year, Arial Sibanda, to come on board so that together we can take them to another level and propel Zimbabwe to dizzy heights in the international world of sport,"said Nheweyembwa.