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Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Andrew Langa has encouraged athletes to make use of renovated sporting facilities in Bulawayo so that they don’t turn into white elephants.

Several sporting facilities in Bulawayo underwent a major facelift worth US$12 935 000 as part of preparations for the just-ended AUSC Region5 Under 20 Youth Games.

Zimbabwe came second after amassing a total of 94 medals (18 gold, 41silver and 35 bronze) behind champions South Africa who managed to bag an impressive 123 medals.

Addressing the media at a media conference yesterday, Langa extended his gratitude to President Mugabe and the nation.

“Let me begin by thanking his Excellency, the President and Head of State of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Cde R.G Mugabe for the unwavering support he gave towards the hosting of the Games.

“At every difficult moment when funding was tight it was his Excellency’s prompt intervention that unlocked finances for the infrastructure refurbishment on construction.

“I am grateful to all Zimbabweans for the morale support… to the people of Bulawayo who graced the competition venues, you made us surpass the attendance figures of the past Games.

“I would like to encourage the youth and clubs to make use of the facilities as sport is an industry that has great potential to employ people, especially the youth,” said Langa.

He said they would monitoring the athletes who took part in the Games.

“We want our athletes to remain active, using those facilities to enhance their skills, the Ministry will support them so that they realise their full potential.

“My ministry will work closely with Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to ensure that the new and refurbished sporting facilities are maintained.

“I urge all Zimbabwean citizens to embrace a sporting culture, making use of the sporting facilities so that they don’t become white elephants.

“We still have outstanding debts to various people who offered their services during the Games but I am not at liberty to disclose the total figure save to say that everyone who is owed will definitely be paid.” he said

Source : The Herald