NATIONAL University of Lesotho student, Tumelo Qophe, has been chosen as the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Lesotho ambassador for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games to be staged in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 6 to 18 February.
The 21 year-old Butha-Buthe born law student will be among the 76 from different countries known as Youth Game Changers (YOGs).
The list includes active athletes, including 14 Olympians and 10 YOG alumni. It also includes sports coaches, students and young professionals who are all aged 30 years and below.
Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) head of programmes, Pulumo Nchakha, said that Qophe was nominated on the basis of the good work he has been doing ever since he completed a week-long Young Change Makers programme that he attended in 2016.
“He is a student at the National University of Lesotho and is engaged in many different activities where he has also shown a lot of commitment when it comes to imparting the Olympic Values at the university,” Nchakha said.
“We only recommended him and submitted his motivation and thereafter he held a skype interview with IOC representatives. Fortunately he did well and he was selected to represent the country.
“He has contributed to numerous activities and he even participated in drawing up a new constitution for the Lesotho Basketball Association constitution.”
For his part, Qophe said he felt “honoured and humbled to be given this once in a lifetime opportunity which will open doors for local sports”.
“This is a great chance to take our country forward.
“I believe that all of us are great people- my academy colleagues are amazing individuals. I also believe the fact that I have leadership skills is what made me stand out. My ability to express inspiring and cooperative ideas of unity made me a noticeable character.
“The programme expects me to carry out awareness and sports enhancement projects. However the impact I can and should create is only possible through strategic planning and systematic approach,” a jubilant Qophe said.
“I hope the corporate world and most crucially the sporting world are ready for a character of my philosophical, political and economic nature.
“The duty to inspire young people requires the participation of all stakeholders and it is my humble plea to God and Basotho that we seize the opportunity to make an impact.
“I hope to establish connections with other sportsmen and inspiring characters at the Youth Olympic Games,” he said.