NEWLY elected Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) president Makhaola Serake has welcomed his new challenge with both hands, adding his first task was to improve relations between the athletes and the association.
Serake, a teacher by profession, replaced Pati Mareka in an elective annual general meeting that was held in Mafeteng last Saturday.
“I think the way we approach each other has affected our sport for a long time and we need to work on that and ensure that athletes and the association are on good terms,” Serake recently told the Sunday Express in an interview.
“We need to be supportive of our athletes because that is the only way we can get good results,” Serake said, adding it had been long since athletes brought home medals from international competitions.
Lesotho last won an athletics medal from the 1999 Commonwealth Games courtesy of marathoner, Thabiso Moqhali who won gold in Malaysia.
“It is going to be a tough four years but I think as a country we need to start changing the way we have been doing things. We first need to discover where we have been going wrong and find ways to correct that in order to revive the nation’s lost hope.
“The Commonwealth Games are just around corner next year as well as the Youth Olympics and the Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC). That’s where our focus will be.
He further said they would also pay more attention to the grassroots and work with their member associations from all the country’s 10 districts.
“This is going to be a tough task and it is going to need commitment from all stakeholders. We need to engage our coaches in all districts. We need to at least increase the number of coaches with Level 2 qualifications to five per district and these should work with primary and high school teachers to identify and take good care of talent.”
He said it was also important to woo the corporate world to support sport.