IT IS always embarrassing to see Lesotho teams return from international competitions with between their legs.
It was the same recently when two local team returned from Botswana and eSwatini where they both performed dismally in their respective competitions.
The Lesotho Universities and College Sports Association (LUCSA) was in Botswana for the CUCSA games where they came back without a single win. They competed in multiple disciplines among them soccer, volleyball, athletics and chess but failed to register a single win.
Three basketball teams namely, Bokamoso Rebels, KTA All Stars and Bokamoso Dolphins participated in the eSwatini Invitational International Basketball Tournament. Only Rebels reached the quarter final stage while Dolphins and KTA were kicked out in the group stages.
For me these results point back to the issue of poor sports administration that has tainted our history. There is no development to talk about.
KTA has participated in eSwatini’s annual tournament for the past seven consecutive years yet there is still nothing to write home about their involvement.
The team also had a lacklustre performance in the same competition last year but for now we will set that aside as I prefer to concentrate on LUCSA performance.
We are already struggling as a country when it comes to clear development strategies. However, I think if we do more to accommodate sports development in our education system then we may entertain thoughts of developing.
LUCSA president Kokolia Ramabele has said they develop talent for national federations and it appears already, they are starting on the wrong footing.
It is evident that LUCSA was ill prepared for the competitions. I feel for the athletes who are perennially humiliated due to lack of preparation. We cannot be content with this constant bungling.
It is embarrassing that we dream of making a mark on the continent yet the best we have done in small competitions like CUCSA is reach the quarter finals.
It should be clear that I appreciate the efforts made to participate in regional and international tournaments for different sporting codes. Surely, that is the only way to weigh our teams’ capacity.
However, why should we settle for less? Should we continue to accept mediocrity as a country?
The recent poor string of performances should be signal tolls to sports administrators that it is time to step up and do something right.
We have to start doing what is right and it has to be done right from the grassroots to ensure a holistic overhaul. That means LUCSA is one of the institution that needs to play an active role.
Our educational system should do more as the primary stage at which talent is nurtured.
South Africa has a running Universities League throughout the year yet ours compete in two tournaments every year.
It is not a surprise that they always fail to rise to occasion when they attend the same competitions because their competitors are better prepared.
Of course, we have teams like Rovers, Limkokwing University and Lerotholi Polytechnic competing in national leagues (in football and basketball) but it is clear that is not enough.
This calls for support from the government as the biggest stakeholders. The government needs to invest more in the future and supporting grassroots sports is one way of doing that.
LUCSA only has two competitions every year due to lack of funding because their subvention from the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission is not enough.