LESOTHO Netball Association spokesperson, Matsepo Mohau says there is an urgent need for soul-searching within the association in the aftermath of the poor showing by local sides at last weekend’s Alliance-LCS Netball Tournament.
South African teams dominated the female and male categories at the two-day tournament that was held at LCS courts in Maseru.
Black Eagles (Johannesburg) and Umhlathuze (Durban) won the female and male categories respectively and each pocketed the M10 000 first prize.
Black Eagles were first runners up in the male category and received M5000 while Veterans who were second runners up walked away with M2000.
JCNC and LCS came out second and third in the female category to each scoop M5000 and M2000 respectively.
“The tournament was good and it was very important for us because we got the chance to weigh our teams before the league starts in mid-April,” Mohau said, adding, “and it was clear that there is a huge gap between our teams and their counterparts’ especially South African teams that dominated the tournament”.
“That tells us we still have lot of work to do if we are to reach to their level.
“LCS are our league champions and they did well in this tournament in the past, but it was a different case this year. They played well but it was clear the South Africans were tactically ahead of us.”
Mohau said lack of exposure was the main challenge for local teams as they seldom participated in international tournaments.
“In South Africa, sport receives financial support so it becomes easy for their teams to travel and play in different competitions which gives them exposure. That is something our players lack and so our teams really struggled and were knocked out early in the tournament.”
He said as part of corrective measures, they would hold a workshop for coaches and umpires this weekend “because we can’t have players of the high level while we don’t have enough coaches and umpires at that level”.
Coach Ramafahla Thamae and LNA Director of Development, Chakatsa Lephole will conduct the workshop.
Alliance Insurance Company sales and marketing manager, Maki Mokobocho described the tournament as a success, adding they were happy with the turn out.
“The tournament was a success and all the players played their hearts out.
It was our first year sponsoring the tournament and hopefully we will continue in coming years,” Mokobocho said, adding, they were committed to extending their relationship beyond just sponsoring the LCS football team (Masheshena).
“We are already sponsoring their football team and they have a policy with us that is mutually beneficial.
“So we thought it wise to expand into other sporting codes to strengthen the good relations between Alliance Insurance and LCS,” Mokobocho said.