South Africa: Team SA Leads the Way At Region 5 Games Opening Ceremony

South Africa lead from the front, quite literally too, as the seventh edition of the AUSC Region 5 Under-20 Games launched into action in this West African nation on Friday afternoon.

On a hot and humid day, the bus carrying Team SA’s women’s football side was first to leave the athletes’ village in a long cavalcade of police-escorted vehicles.

Next in line were the rest of the Africa du Sul team, followed by the eight other nations. The host nation has it’s own athletes’ village.

Around 45 minutes later and soon the opening ceremony got underway.

As a 21-strong marching band led the way, once again it was Team South Africa who were first into the Coqueiros Municipal Stadium in central Luanda.

Proudly lead by flag-bearer and tennis player Richard Thongoana, they were followed by the teams of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and, as is the custom, the host nation.

Thongoana was also part of the South African team that duty at the last edition of these biennial games, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

There followed the entry of the Games mascot, a handsome giant sable antelope.

The teams were then addressed by the Provincial Governor of Luanda, the co-ordinating Minister of the Interministerial Organising Committee and President of Region 5 of the African Union.

After the teams had left the stadium field the appreciative crowd were treated to a slick display of tumbling gymnastics and thereafter an artistic-cultural show of dance and music.

The official sporting action of these Games then kicked off with the host nation’s women’s football side taking on South Africa at the same stadium… more on that later.

Picture of Team South Africa at the opening ceremony courtesy of Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

Source: South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

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