South Africa will host the 2010 African Continental Olympic Youth Games qualifier and continental archery championships.
The event will be the biggest internationally recognised archery event yet held on the African continent and goes to show that the South African National Archery Association is able to host a world-class championship.
The two competitions will be held concurrently with the 60th South African National Archery Championships. Held under the banner of the International Federation (FITA) and Federation of African Archery (FAA), representing some 34 African countries, the event will be held at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, Tshwane from 24-27 April.
According to Andrew Omala, president of the Ugandan based FAA: ÔÇ£South Africa has never hosted the Olympic Qualifying event which serves as a great opportunity to bring the African countries closer together and acts as a showcase for the sport of archery on the continentÔÇØ.┬á Omala also serves on the continental Olympic Committee.
South Africa won the bid against Egypt and Libya primarily because of their excellent facilities and the development programme they have in place as a consequence of the Continental Games. ÔÇ£Inspection of their facilities reveal a world-class standard able to host Olympic events and the ability to cater for the sport and its fansÔÇØ, he concluded.
According to Barbara Manning, secretary general of the South African Archery Association, the awarding of the Olympic Youth Qualifier and African Games is the beginning of an exciting era for the sport and its fans.
ÔÇ£We raised the bar at the 2009 SA Championships by ensuring that many sporting disciplines benefited from the event, especially the disabled. The 2010 Championships will be no different, in that we will be creating job opportunities, showcasing the capabilities of Africa to the world and leaving a legacy for regional archersÔÇØ, she added.
The inaugural Youth Olympic Games will be held in Singapore between 14-26 August.
Said Manning: ÔÇ£To host the Youth Olympic Qualifier and Continental Championships is an honour for the sport. It contributes to the international profile of the city as a major sports event City.┬á The support of the sport authorities and the High Performance Centre has enabled us to create opportunities for all communities in the cityÔÇØ.
The event carries world ranking status and participants from all over the world are expected to compete in the event.