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Redskins struggle to raise funds

Pascalinah Kabi

MASERU — Redskins volleyball club is struggling to raise funds to compete at the All Africa Club Championships in Morocco next month.

The community-owned club needs at least M500 000 for air tickets, accommodation and food for the week-long tournament.

The eight-time champions have been struggling to secure sponsorship since they qualified for the championships last December

The club has until April 8 to confirm their participation at the championships.

The games are expected to run from April 23 to May 1 in Casablanca, Morocco.

If Redskins fail to raise enough money for the trip, this would be the second time the club would have failed to represent the country due to lack of funds.

In 2007, Redskins failed to compete in the Inter-Club Championships in Malawi because of lack of funds.

Redskins captain Moholo Lekomola confirmed these developments with Sunday Express on Friday.

“According to our budget, we need close to half a million (maloti) for the preparations and the championships,” Lekomola said.

“The most expensive item in our budget is transport to and from Morocco,” he said.

The club would need to take at least 20 people to the games in Morocco.

Lekomola said they started submitting proposals to both businesses and the government soon after their qualification.

“We started giving people proposals since we qualified for the games in December.

“There are promises from the private sector.

“These people have maintained their promises but are complaining that they are unable to give us money now because the government is delaying their payments.”

Lekomola said they had also received pledges of support from the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission.

“The commission has also promised to sponsor us but according to our understanding, they are waiting for the association (Lesotho Volleyball Association) to make a written request,” he said.

Lekomola said the lack of money has affected the team’s preparations for the tourney.

“The closing date for confirmation of participation is April 8. “What is most important now is for the team to receive the money and start preparations for the games,” he said.

He said they had since lined up three international friendly matches to help the club prepare for the championships.

“We have planned to have three international friendly matches against Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland,” Lekomola said.

“It will however be impossible for us to compete in these preparatory matches if we don’t have the money.”

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