Govt must introspect: Mahali
THE Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, Mahali Phamotse, says the government must do its business differently if it wants to see local athletes improve their performance in international competitions.
Mahali said this during the welcome ceremony of the 28-member team Lesotho that had just returned from the Africa Games which ended on 30 August in Rabat, Morocco.
Lesotho only managed one medal at the games courtesy of Michelle Tau, who came second in the female category of taekwondo.
Phamotse said she has been studying how other countries go about their business and she has concluded that the government needed to do things differently.
“I was there with you and witnessed the effort you were putting in but I noticed that the country is still far behind,” Phamotse said.
“When I was on the stands there ululating, I was also trying to study from other countries how they do it and I even asked them. “I was at the Commonwealth Games (Australia) and AUSC Region 5 Games in Botswana (both last year).
“I saw you doing your best and I concede that you have the talent but you lack facilities and proper preparations for the athletes.
“We have problems as a government and we need to introspect and ensure that we get things right from the top for our athletes to perform well.”
Phamotse said it broke her heart realising that the athletes who fared badly in Morocco did so not because of their own making but a host of other issues that are beyond their control.
“I saw those things and honestly, I was hurt. However, we have learnt that we need to support the athletes and their associations.
“I have availed myself to the associations to be invited to events so that I can familiarise and appreciate the challenges that they face so that I know how to help them.
“We have sponsors on board who are eager to help us, so let us craft our work plan. I urge those in authority to stop acting as if they own these associations.
“Brief your colleagues on what you are doing so that even when you are unavailable, business continues since we also need to start preparing for the 2020 AUSC Region 5 Games,” Phamotse said.