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Basketball continues to lead the way

 

Moorosi Tsiane

We have reached that time of the year when families will be getting together and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on 25 December, hence the most popular holiday called Christmas, if you are a Christian, that is.

This is also that time of the year when kids would be going up and down the streets with their peers, showing off their new clothes, ultramodern cellphones, and whatever item they might possess that would make them look cool in front of their friends.

It is during this time also, that I think children from disadvantaged backgrounds suffer the most; I mean, I can almost feel the pain they have to endure when they see their age-mates wearing new, expensive sneakers and making a nuisance of themselves just to grab the limelight.

It is with these kids in mind that I salute the Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA), which is being run by some enterprising youths very passionate about their chosen sport.

The LBA says it would be holding a charity tournament next weekend to raise funds for disbursement needy children at a children’s home in Katlehong.

The annual event, dubbed Summer Slam Charity Tournament, is hoping to raise enough money to ensure these youngsters also have a happy festive season.

To me, this is a very big initiative by the basketball community as they have gone out of their way to try and put a smile on the faces of these less-privileged children in our society.

The media is always ready to criticise at every given opportunity and I feel it would only be fair to also give credit where it is due, and I sincerely believe the LBA leaders and players deserve a pat on the back for this initiative.

I know finding sponsorship is a huge challenge when it comes to sport in this country, hence my appreciation for what the basketball community has been doing over the years through the Summer Slam and continuing to push for funding even when it looks like a lost cause.

Lamenting lack of funding from government and the corporate sector has become a favourite song by many sporting associations, but LBA officials have decided not to be part of this infamous choir and instead, do something for themselves.

That is why it did not come as a surprise to me when Lichocha—a basketball club that is only five months old—recently received technical sponsorship from Seshoeshoe Productions, while we have so many so-called big football teams in our Premier League who are still without corporate sponsors.

I’m not saying associations must look for sponsorship for teams, but good things must start at the top so that they cascade to the bottom. Again, I am not saying associations must be working on social development activities because we all know that is the duty of government.

What I am simply trying to emphasise is how this passionate group of youths at the LBA is pushing the boundaries to see basketball grow in our country and also using sport to make a difference in our people’s lives.

It is only when associations start to take their work seriously that our sport would grow and reach the professional level that we are all longing for.

Unless the ladies and gentlemen who are in administrative positions of our different sporting disciplines start to do things the right way, we will continue going around in circles and blaming  government for our lack of progress.

I hope other associations will learn a thing or two from the LBA and how dedicated everyone is in ensuring basketball becomes a decent sport. Bravo LBA.

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