The Confederation of Southern African School Sports Associations (Cosassa) Ball Games that were initially set to take place this month in Zambia, have now been moved to October this year. Solly Duiker, the national coordinator of the Namibia Schools Sport Union (NSSU), confirmed the latest adjustments to the competition dates to New Era Sport yesterday.
He added that the event will now take place in Richards Bay, South Africa, and no longer in Zambia as planned. The latest changes were forced by Zambian health authorities, who said it was mandatory that all participating athletes entering that country for the games should be vaccinated against Covid-19. As a result, Cosassa resolved to move the games to South Africa, where entry conditions for the athletes are a bit relaxed. The South African authorities, according to Duiker, have set no requirements for the athletes to be vaccinated, and hosting the competition in October also fits well with the South African school calendar.
“It is no longer taking place this month as it has been pushed to later in the year due to various reasons, which include vaccination issues and school holidays in that country (Zambia). They said it couldn’t go on while schools that side are on holiday as some of the athletes will not be available. Also, they require all participating athletes to be vaccinated against Covid-19,” he explained.
In preparation for the competition, Duiker highlighted that local competitions such as the recently-launched Debmarine ‘Bridging the Gap’ initiative will be instrumental in identifying talents that would represent the country at this year’s Ball Games. “We have selected teams for certain sports codes, but we are still looking forward to selecting more athletes in various sports codes such as football through the Debmarine ‘Bridging the Gap; initiative. We would like to have a formidable team which will compete that side,” he noted.
The ‘Bridging the Gap’ initiative is a schools sports programme which caters for 14 schools from across the country that will compete in the U/15 and U/17 netball, football and athletics’ disciplines.
It will take place at the coastal town of Swakopmund from 30 September to 2 October, and is expected to cater for over 42 600 learners.
The event was first launched in 2019, but had to take a two-year forced break from the local schools’ sporting calendar due to Covid-19.
Sports that will compete at this year’s Cosassa Ball Games include football, netball, hockey, volleyball, tennis and rugby. - email@example.com