Member countries of the Confederation of Schools Sport Associations of Southern Africa (COSSASA) have been implored to join hands in developing schools sport in the region and extend regional co-operation.

The COSSASA track and field athletics championships kicked off at the National Sports Stadium (NSS) on Thursday with Botswana, Namibia, Malawi and Zimbabwe participating out of the expected seven.

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Lazarus Dokora said there was room for more co-operation between SADC and COSSASA despite other countries such as Zambia, Swaziland and Lesotho being absent.

The association’s president Johnson Madhuku said he was happy with the level of organisation and that Zimbabwe managed to host the athletics championships after Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

The athletics championships at the NSS will run until tomorrow.

The athletics championships on Friday (today) began later than the expected time for the second day running due to the prolonged official opening ceremony which was followed by an executive committee meeting to iron out some differences.

It was however not clear whether the championships would finish on time on Saturday as the stadium is also booked for a church and communion service by celebrated Nigerian Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.

Preparations had already began with the erection of a huge stage which was already interferring and closed one lane of the eight lanes on the main tartan track.

After day one of competition Zimbabwe had amassed 16 gold, 14 silver and 16 bronze while Namibia had 9 gold, 15 silver, 6 bronze and Botswana 8 gold, 5 silver and 10 bronze going into the second day of competition.