MASERU — For the past three years Berea District has held on to the Vision 2020 Games championship title. After winning the title for three consecutive years — 2008, 2009 and 2010 — Berea got to keep the trophy for good. But when this year’s edition of the tournament starts tomorrow at the National University of Lesotho it will be a different ball game altogether. The other nine districts will certainly try to knock Berea off its perch. The games are set to run until Friday when the champions will walk away with a brand new trophy. Maqalika Matsepe, the sports ministry’s chief information officer, told the Sunday Express that the purpose of the tournament is to identify and groom talent. “The entire purpose of the games is to scout, indentify and groom talent at a younger age as well as prepare the players for the country’s national teams”, Matsepe said. He said there will be eight sporting codes. “The sporting games are eight, mainly boxing, volleyball, netball, football for both male and female, athletics, morabaraba and taekwondo.”
Matsepe said the tournament has produced “incredible athletes” since it started in 2005. “There are hundreds of players representing the country in various sporting codes which were actually unearthed by these games. “We can talk about some of the athletes who came on top five positions at the recent summer marathon (Let?eng Diamonds High Altitude Summer Marathon),” Matsepe said. Meanwhile, the Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) development director Ramafahla Thamae says LNA will use tomorrow’s games as a “benchmark” for the SUCSA games scheduled for Zambia next year as well as the World Youth Games in 2013 in Scotland. “Most of our players currently in the Under 20 national team were discovered at these games and some of the senior national team players are the product of Vision 2020 games,” Thamae said.