THE LESOTHO Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) will for the next three months supplement the income of athletes who fall under the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) and the Lesotho Athletics Amateur Association (LAAA).
The funds are outside the monthly subventions that the associations receive from the LSRC and are meant to sustain the athletes during the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown where all sporting activities are on hold.
LSRC acting chief executive officer Teboho Malataliana confirmed developments to the Sunday Express on Friday saying they felt it was prudent to assist the associations with the knowledge that the majority of the athletes are semi-professional.
“The lockdown has presented a difficult situation as there are no sporting activities that are being allowed, so we find the need to try and help athletes whom we know survive on sport,” Malataliana said.
“We know that apart from soccer players, there are other athletes who survive on sports and that is how we reached the decision to assist LeFA and LAAA.”
Malataliana said they have already submitted their budget to the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation although they are yet to receive the funds.
“We haven’t received the money yet but we have already discussed the matter with the ministry and submitted our budget which is for three months.
“It should be clear that this budget is different from the monthly subventions that associations receive. This is specifically meant for the lockdown relief.”
Malataliana said the disbursement of the funds would be determined by the associations.
“For instance, in athletics there are athletes who compete in races where they win money on which they survive. However, now that the races are not being run, we have asked the LAAA to compile a list based on each athlete’s track record so that they can see how to help them. Similarly, LeFA will take the responsibility because we know most of our teams are paying their players.
“However, there are other associations whose coaches and administrators we have been paying and these will not be affected as their salaries will continue to be paid as usual,” Malataliana said.