MPs put last touches as EALA Games fast approaches

MPs put last touches as EALA Games fast approaches
South Sudanese MPs, led by Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba, train ahead of next week’s Inter-Parliamentarians games [Courtesy photo]

The Members of Parliament are in the final stretch of preparations ahead of the maiden regional inter-parliamentary games to be held in Juba.

The Chairperson of the Youth and Sports Committee at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), Gai Mayen Luk, said that 95 per cent of the planning had been completed.

“We are prepared in every sense as far as the games are concerned, and of course, our available sports facilities within Juba have been prepared and made conducive for the games, while some of them, which are under renovation, is soon getting ready,” lawmaker Luk said.

Luk rued the lack of a golf course which will deny South Sudan the opportunity to host the game.

“We will only be sending two golfers to Kenya to join the other MPs.” “Golf will start on Monday up to Thursday, while on Friday everyone will be in Juba; which is the official launch of the event, and then from Saturday until the first of December 2022.”

The tournament, which will last only two weeks, will be officially launched on November 25, 2022, at Freedom Hall.

The competitions will commence immediately on Saturday in various fields, according to Luk.

He stated that some other parliamentarians have already arrived in the country ahead of the games, while others will continue arriving until Friday next week.

“63 per cent of the participants will be real members of the parliament, and 37 per cent will be support staff. “That means other supporting staff like drivers, cleaners, office managers, and others will be required to supplement,” he explained.

According to him, the reason is that some countries have a small number of MPs, which would not make a full team.

On the flip side, The City Review understood that several playgrounds are still not at their best to host the games—there is still much to be done.

For instance, at Buluk Playground, the MPs are facing a race against time to complete the guest shelters, toilets, and washing rooms, although there is continuous work going on.

South Sudan now has less than a week to refurbish the facilities available ahead of the annual regional games set to be hosted in Juba next week.

The games will bring together MPs from the host nation, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Kenya, which will all also send representatives to the 12th edition of the multi-discipline games.

There will be eight different sports, including men’s football, men’s and women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s only netball, dates for people with disabilities, athletics, tug of war (rope pulling), and golf.

In athletics, for example, the lawmakers will compete in race track events such as 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, and 1500 meters, for both men and women. There will also be a 4 x 400-meter relay and a 4 x 100-meter dash.

“The South Sudanese Parliamentarians made their regional competition debut in Tanzania last year.