LSRC quells All-Africa security concerns
LESOTHO Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) CEO Kholang Mokalanyane has allayed fears over the safety of the local contingent at the All-Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo.
Lesotho’s 43-member team, led by Moipone Mashale, left the country last Wednesday to participate in the 11th edition of the continental multi-sport event that was supposed to be held from 4 to 19 September.
However, the games were delayed due to poor preparations by the country’s organising committee. The event was supposed to kick off on Tuesday with a boxing match. However, there was no facility prepared to host the match.
In a media briefing held at LSRC offices on Friday, Mokalanyane said the delay had inconvenienced team Lesotho, adding that they were doing all they could to ensure the team did not get demotivated.
“To my knowledge, these are the worst games we have ever attended, but we are keeping in touch with our team to ascertain the situation because of the bad treatment people from English-speaking nations are getting there,” Mokalanyane said.
“Our head of delegation told us that the meetings were being held in French so you can imagine how difficult it is for people who speak other languages. The organising committee failed to communicate in time that every country should bring a translator with them.
“Unfortunately, we only sent one translator and the main challenge is that our teams are camping in different villages as far apart as here and Teyateyaneng. Their local organising committee does not seem to care about how the other countries are faring.”
He said some of the sports facilities were yet to be opened for use, making it difficult for the athletes to train ahead of their competitions
“So it is possible that the games would be delayed, which will then cause a lot of inconvenience with the players likely to not get enough time to rest between their competitions,” said Mokalanyane.
“From what we are hearing, Congo is about to hold general elections soon, so the government and those in power are busy campaigning hence the delay.”
He, however, allayed fears over team Lesotho’s safety, saying the main worry was over their mental state for which they were depending on the coaches to address.
“Security is a top priority and every country that hosts international games understands that. I understand that some parents were now concerned, but I am assuring them there is nothing to worry about as far as security is concerned,” said Mokalanyane
“The team is using any chance they get to train because it is difficult to go through their paces without the requisite facilities. Our main worry is their mental fitness, but hopefully their coaches will make sure they stay focused on the games and not let these challenges get in their way.”
Lesotho is participating in the sporting disciplines of taekwondo, boxing, tennis, athletics and sports for the visually impaired.