The Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation is on track preparing a competitive provincial team for this year’s National Schools Sports Championships. A provincial team has already been selected for the upcoming games. This team comprises of athletes from five sporting codes.These sporting codes are: basketball, cricket, rugby sevens, softball and table tennis.The selection process of the players in the five codes was completed on Saturday, 20 October.This was done via trials held in Welkom and Odendaalsrus.The Mother City, Cape Town, will play host to the multi-sport event scheduled to take place from 10 to 14 December. Selection of the Free State team was done in partnership with the provincial Department of Education and sport federations that are custodians of the different sporting codes. The players are mostly learners attending different schools in the five districts in the Free State.According to Tankiso Zola, spokesperson of the department, the National Schools Sports Championship is the highest competition for schools from all the nine provinces in the country. “It is at this championship that athletes stand a chance to be eligible to be selected into the national federation teams to represent South Africa on international level,” he said.“The national tournament seeks to create an opportunity for young athletes to be identified and be nurtured through the sport development continuum. “This is an opportunity for young Free State athletes to participate and excel in sport, both on and off the field of play,” said MEC Mathabo Leeto of the department.