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Makoele speaks on regional awards

Moorosi Tsiane

THE Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mofihli Makoele, has expressed concern over Lesotho athletes’ failure to win any award at the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5, Regional Annual Sports Awards (RASA).

Lesotho this year had two representatives at the fourth edition of RASA which were hosted by Namibia last weekend.

But the country once again returned empty handed as both Lerato Sechele (Sports Woman of the year), and ‘Manqabang Tsibela (Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year) were beaten by South Africa’s Caster Semenya and Moneyi Chingaipe of Malawi.

The LSRC boss said it is worrying that local athletes are not winning when nominated in the awards and said it shows that there is a lot of work that still needs to be done.

“The competition is tough because our local awards (LASA) winners are often won by athletes who have competed and won in regional and international competitions and that is the same case with the RASA,” Makoele said.

“But the challenge now is that our athletes mostly compete regionally and if they go continental or global, they don’t win the competitions.

“This means that they earn less points hence you see the likes of Semenya winning because she is always winning all her competitions. Chingaipe, who beat ‘Manqabang, also won her competitions internationally.”

Makoele however, said Lesotho should start investing more in international competitions than only participating at the regional level.

“We still have a lot of work to do. Our athletes need to be seen competing at a higher level and winning their competitions because that is the only way to get points that can help them win the regional awards,” he said.

He said the LSRC is now working with the Lesotho National Olympics Committee (LNOC) on a podium performance programme (PPP) where they are enrolling three athletes from different national federations for grooming before they can perform in international competitions.

“It is only through such programmes that we can have athletes who can compete with the rest of the world and actually win something.

“We are working hard because we want to see this programme succeeding. We want to have a good development programme which we will be proud of as a country,” Makoele said.

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