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LASA winners wait for prizes six months on

Moorosi Tsiane

LESOTHO Annual Sport Awards (LASA) winners have cried foul overs the protracted delay of their prizes which were held in March this year.

LASA is an initiative of the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) which recognises, embraces and rewards excelling athletes in their respective sports disciplines.

Awards were given in categories of Junior female and male sportsperson of the year, sportsman and woman of the year, newcomer of the year, administrator of the year, volunteer of the year, national federation of the year, sports team of the year, coach of the year, umpire/referee of the year, journalist and sports show of the year and sports legacy award.

A winner in each category is supposed to get M5000 and a trophy.

According to some of the winners who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, the prizes were scheduled to be handed over at the beginning of the 2018/19 financial year in April this year. However, the winners claim that the LSRC has remained mum with regards to the prizes.

“We appreciate the fact that the LSRC has implemented the awards which motivate us,” said one disgruntled winner.

“However, I am wondering what exactly is the point of making promises that are never fulfilled?

“The LSRC promised to give us the prize money in April but until today we still do have not received anything and no one has bothered to communicate with us.”

Another winner also said that the delays have caused them serious inconveniences as some of the winners are based in other districts outside Maseru and they have spent money travelling to check whether the money has been availed only to return empty handed.

“It is costly for some of us who are from outside Maseru to keep travelling hoping we will get the money when in fact we do not. One would have thought that the LSRC had a budget for the awards and it leaves you wondering what has caused the delays,” he said.

LSRC acting chief executive officer Mofihli Makoele conceded that they are yet to pay the winners’ prizes but said the sponsor, the ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation has not remitted the funds.

“Of course, we have not given them their prizes but it is not out of our own making. We are also still waiting for the money which was promised by the ministry of sports.

“We hoped that we would use part of the annual subvention from the government and then replace it when the prizes allocation has been remitted but that too has been delayed. We need close to M85 000 for the awards,” Makoele said.

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