LESOTHO will be celebrating 50 years of independence on 4 October this year but there will be very little to celebrate on the sporting front.
So far, the major sporting milestones has been marathon runner Thabiso Moqhali’s gold medal at the 1999 Commonwealth Games.
Boxers, Moses Kopo and Letuka Sephula, also won silver and bronze medals in 2002 and 2006 respectively at the same games.
Other than those three Commonwealth medals, there is no sporting achievement worth talking about after half a century of independence.
The fact of the matter is Lesotho has been mediocre all round as far as sport is concerned and we have been beating about the bush on this issue instead of facing reality.
The best we can do is to learn from the sporting successes of other nations, with the neighbouring South Africa a good case in point.
The South Africans have professionalised their sporting sector, ensuring their athletes are fully equipped to compete against the world’s best.
In our case, we will remain the perennial whipping boys and girls if our athletes are still amateurs while competing against professionals. It has become the norm for our athletes to get knocked out in the first stages of any tournament they participate in.
According to Albert Einstein, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is tantamount to insanity.
That is why the role of the government in developing the sporting sector is imperative. Our political leaders should not merely look at sport as a recreational pastime but as a strategic sector that can benefit the economy.
If the government started according sport the attention it deserves, I am sure there would be more accountability from our sports administrators. In turn, the corporate sector would not hesitate to invest in sport.
Of course we can never run away from the perennial challenge of limited resources. However, I always ask myself if all stakeholders are doing enough to help uplift the sporting sector?
The stakeholders include the media, athletes administrators and the government among others.
My challenge to all stakeholders is for them to reassess their contribution and see if they can improve for the betterment of local sport.
Why should one person head a national sporting association for more than 10 years without any deliverables and still expect to continue in their position in perpetuity?
Like any other sector, sport administration should be results driven and if someone has failed, they should throw in the towel.