PREPARATIONS for the 2016 edition of the National Paralympics Games set for April in Matabeleland South are progressing well despite the funding challenges facing the Local Organising Committee (LOC). The Games will be held from April 5-9 at various venues that include Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda, Blanket Mine, Colleen Bawn, Vumbachikwe Mine and St Christopher’s Primary School.
Provincial administrator Midard Khumalo said: “Various committees are on the ground executing their tasks. Our fundraising target is $328,167, but the LOC is expected to raise $108,000. Central government has pledged $100,000 towards the successful hosting of the event.”
Khumalo said the fundraising teams were working around the clock to ensure this year’s edition becomes a great success. “We’re very hopeful that by the end of this month we’ll have covered a lot of ground in terms of preparations.
“We’re calling on local authorities and other stakeholders, including district administrators and community leaders, to play an active role in resource mobilisation and marketing of the Paralympics Games.
“We’ve challenges in mobility and communication as some of the tasks demand that the teams go out of their offices, and as a committee, we’re struggling and are appealing to well-wishers to come forward and donate so the games are a success,” Khumalo said.
He said some facilities had to be upgraded to make them user friendly to the special group of participants. Matabeleland South successfully hosted the National Youth Games in 2011, which were regarded as the best ever.