THE Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) has announced a final list for the second Lesotho Annual Sport Awards (LASA) which will be held on 17 March this year at the Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru.
The list however, controversially excludes some of the country’s leading lights such as Lerato Sechele who recently set a new national triple jump record, the 800 metres star, Tšepang Sello and Africa Continental Mountain Bike Championship silver medalist, Tumelo Makae.
Sprint starlet, Nelson Khereng, will compete with middle distance star, Nomakoe Nkhasi, marathon runners, Jobo Khatoane, Neheng Letsela and Lineo Chaka for the biggest prize, the Sports Star of the Year.
The awards are aimed at recognising and rewarding Basotho who excel in their sporting disciplines.
Other categories include the Junior Female and Male Sportsperson of the Year, Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, National Federation of the Year, Sports Team of the Tear, Coach of the Year, Umpire/Referee of the Year, Journalist and Sports Show of the Year and the Sports Legacy Award.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express after the announcement of the finalists on Friday, LSRC spokesperson, Refiloe Maphallela, said it was worrying that there were very few of the big names on the list of nominees.
“I am aware that there are those popular athletes who have been competing all year round that are not included in our list but there is nothing we can do because the nominations were done by the different sports associations,” Maphallela said.
Maphallela said the preparations for Saturday’s event were on track, adding that the winners would receive trophies and surprise packages from the sponsors.
“We have been in touch with different corporates because we want this event to be bigger and better than that of last year. Currently we only have Lesotho Times, All 4 One Sports, Brand it and Lesotho Flour Mills as the only confirmed sponsors but we hope there will be more before the event.”
He said voting for journalist, sports show and sports star will be done by the public because these were categories that interacted with the public on most occasions.
The voting started on Friday and will close on 9 March.
Full list of nominees:
Junior Female Sportperson: Manqabang Tsibela (athletics), Reuitumetsi Taioe and Malillo Phera (Chess).
Junior Male Sportperson: Tšeliso Masoenyane (taekwondo), Koneshe Mojela (Athletics), Teboho Lelimo (Chess).
Sportsman of the Year: Nomakoe Nkhasi, Jobo Khatoane, Nelson Khereng (Athletics).
Sportswoman of the Year: Neheng Khathala, Ntebaleng Letsela and Lineo Chaka (All from Athletics).
Newcomer of the Year: Molatoli Leshota (Athletics), Khabo Suiching (Taekwondo), Koneshe Mojela.
Administrator of the Year: Moses Kopo (Boxing), Nomazondo Seleteng (School sports) and Mokhosi Mohapi (Football).
Volunteer of the Year: Retselisitsoe Goodman (Football), Pule Rantseli (Equistrian), Kamoho Ramontsoe (Schoolsport)
National Federation of the Year: Lesotho Boxing Association, Lesotho Primary Schools Sports Associations and Chess Federation of Lesotho.
Sports Team of the Year: Red Skins (Volleyball), Leqele High School (Netball), Makoanyane XI (Football).
Coach of the Year: Tsepo Raletooane (Volleyball), Teboho Sello and Mabuthile Lebopo (Athletics).
Umpire of the Year: Thabiso Snyman (Boxin), Chakatsa Lephole (Netball) and Mamakebe Moshoeshoe (Netball).
Journalist of the Year: Moorosi Tsiane (Sunday Express), Chalale Mokhethi (MoAfrika FM), Tsebeletso Tumahole (LTV), Thabelo Monamane (Lesotho Times).
Sports Show of the Year: Sunday Express sport column, Lesotho Times Sport Column, Moafrika FM sport show, Sports Buzz (LTV).
Sport Legacy Award: Seephephe Matete (Football), Motlatsi Ncholu (Radio Commentator), Rantsubise Matete (Sport Reporter).