MASERU Business Machines on Wednesday handed over 12 pairs of training and school shoes worth M12 000 to six-athletes who won the annual Royal Memorial Marathon in Thaba-Tseka.
The race which is meant to celebrate the lives of the late Moshoeshoe II and Queen Mamohato Bereng Seeiso, was won by Manqabang Tsibela and Pitso Rammea in both five kilometer female and male categories.
The event took place in December last year with 21 kilometer and five kilometer races from Mantšonyane to Thaba-Tseka.
Moleboheng Tseka, came out as a first runner up with Mpai Mahana taking the second spot in the girls’ category while Thabiso Malataliana and Seutloali Rakobo came out second and third in boys’ category.
Maseru Business Machines managing director, Telang Takane, said they were inspired by the determination of the athletes.
“We were touched by the commitment and determination that these children showed and we thought that it was prudent to come in and appreciate them,” Takane said.
“This is real talent that needs to be motivated because sport is a career that can afford them employment and also save them destructive vices that other young people engage in.”
He said the decision to buy shoes was inspired by the fact that most of the children ran barefooted.
“We realised this was a chance for us to make an impact by providing them with training shoes so that they get exposure at a young age as some of them are already representing the country at the junior level,” he said.
“But again being athlete only is not enough and we just thought that it is better we buy them school shoes as well.
“The target is to get more involved in this kind of events as we want to give back to the community.”
Maseru Business Machines has in the past sponsored Matlama Football Club and the Lesotho Football Association and Takane said they hoped to bring in a bigger package later in the year.
Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission acting chief executive officer, Mofihli Makoele, applauded the company and said the gesture was a special way of motivating the athletes.
“It is very encouraging to see businesses getting involved and giving back to the community.
“But it doesn’t end there, as we also have a responsibility as the administrators to ensure that we help to market the business that invests in sports so that others will also see the benefit,” Makoele said.