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Sports awards cancelled

Leemisa Thuseho

ALLIANCE Insurance Company has pulled out of sponsoring the Alliance Sports Media Awards (ASMA), the Lesotho Sport Reporters Association (LSRA) has said.

LSRA President Nthako Majoro told the Sunday Express in a recent interview that the long-awaited third edition of the awards have thus been cancelled.

“We will not have the awards this year,” Majoro said.

“We met with Alliance and they told us that they were withdrawing their sponsorship this year. Alliance promised us to send a written detailed document on why are they pulling out but we are yet to receive it.

“The written notice will enable us to explain to our members.”

Majoro said although they were yet to meet with their members but said they would hit the ground running to secure a new sponsor.

“I do not think it will be a good idea to let the awards die. We will do all we can to get a new sponsor.”

The awards were introduced in 2018 and were now in their third year.

Alliance Insurance Company Sales and marketing manager Limakatso Mokobocho said the decision was influenced by a variety of reasons.

“We are not going to have the awards due to various reasons. Above all, sports journalists whom we thought would love the awards and ensure their success seemed to lack interest.

“We went all out to improve the awards because we wanted the initiative to succeed but in the second edition sports journalists’ interest was very low compared to the first year,” Mokobocho said.

She said that all their efforts to get journalists to market the wards last year were in vain.

“We had radio slots lined up and campaigns for the sports journalists to campaign and promote the awards but none of those plans worked. The company got the impression that it was wasting its time, effort and resources on a project that the journalists do not care about.

“Now we must go back to the drawing board and plan to get exactly what it is that they want us to help them with. We still want to work with them but we need to know and understand why the awards are not growing, uniting the journalists and improving professionalism as we had hoped,” she added.

She also said they were worried that the winners of the first edition of the awards failed to show up at the second edition.

“We thought that after winning and benefiting, they would show increase interest and encourage others to participate.

“Therefore, I think we must do our market research before engage in such projects. We thought we knew our journalists’ interests because we were working closely with them but maybe we didn’t do it the way they wanted it done,” Mokobocho said.

Mokobocho however, impressed they would still go back and rethink their plan with the possibility of bringing back the awards.

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