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Athletes get scholarships

Leemisa Thuseho

THE Iba Mbaye World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Keba Mbaye Scholarship have awarded three local volleyball players and one weightlifter one-year long scholarships.

Weightlifter Mokhethi Makhanya and volleyball player Bongiwe Sethunya will be sponsored with US$500 each for the scholarship. Makhanya is from Itekeng High School while Sethunya is from Mapetla High School.

The other two volleyball players; Relebohile Phamotse from Lithabaneng High School and Keketso Monare of Masowe High School got USD850 scholarship each.

The scholarships were officially handed to the beneficiaries on Wednesday by the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) through its Lepereng Olympafrica Centre in Maseru.

Lepereng Olympafrica Centre Coordinator Khotso Mahloko said the beneficiaries were selected using different methods.

“The Iba Mbaye WADA Fellowship is offered to participants, students who performed well in the five-day training camp that we held in 2018. The training camp offered lessons on Olympic education values, anti-doping education, and sports specific trainings,” Mahloko said.

“The Keba Mbaye Scholarship is offered to learners whose academic performance and sports excellence are outstanding. Therefore, we used their academic reports and sport reports to apply for these scholarships

“The scholarships strive to motivate a balance between sports and education.”

Mahloko added that their players were competing against students from other 40 Olympafrica Centers and we happy they had qualified.

“It’s not just about applying and getting the scholarship but we must meet the requirements and beat other countries. Therefore, we happy that all our students qualified, unlike in the past when we would get just a few.”

He said the sponsorships are aimed at enhancing the players’ academic performance as well as their sporting careers.

He added that the scholarships can be renewed based on the beneficiaries’ performances both academically and in sports.

“These are not the first beneficiaries. In 2008 we had Khathatso Lerata and Koroloso Matela under the Iba Mbaye and in 2016-2019 we had Matšeliso Toloane under Keba Mbaye,” Mahloko said.

One parent, Sello Phamotse, hailed the LNOC for working hard to develop local sports and also encouraged children to work hard in their academic studies.

“Sports and education go together and it is good for children to balance the two,” Phamotse said.

For his part, LNOC president ‘Matlohang Moiloa Ramoqopo encouraged the youths to join sports which can help them in future.

“Sports teach children how to work as team, decision making, respect and to strive for victory. All these can be helpful in their day to day life

“The International Olympic Committee’s focus is now on youths to prepare them for future,” Ramoqopo said.





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