Sports ministry starts distributing Covid relief parcels
THE Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation Ministry on Thursday started distributing Covid-19 relief funds to sportspersons who have been negatively affected by the pandemic.
The distribution is being handled by the Covid-19 task team which was set up by sports federations to coordinate communications with the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC).
The distribution was launched at Setsoto Stadium where athletes from Maseru received food parcels while federations received personal protective equipment (PPE). Sports reporters from various media houses also received food parcels.
Speaking at the event, task team chairperson, Moipone Mashale said they are looking forward to give out 500 food parcels to athletes from different sporting codes.
“Since its establishment last year, the task team has been working hard to find ways of helping athletes during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mashale said.
“Although we wanted to have helped them last year, we only received the fund this year. We are going to help 500 athletes who will all get food parcels and PPE. We are also going to help them train their Covid-19 compliance officers.
“We are also aware that there are some athletes who survive on sports and have been failing to get income during the lockdowns. Therefore, they will get money.”
She could however, not be drawn into revealing when and how much the athletes will receive.
The task team is made up of representatives from the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) and the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC). It received M2 million from the government in January for athletes’ relief funds for athletes.
This after it had initially requested M6 million in June last year from the government. The budget was however, whittled down to M3 million in September 2020 but the task team ended up receiving only M2 million.
This is the second assistance athletes are getting from the government. In October last year the ministry gave out 150 food parcels to athletes.
In launching the distribution on Thursday, Sport minister Likeleli Tampane urged federations to use the facility to assist athletes and not to abuse it. She applauded the task team for fighting for the return of sports.
“I am by impressed by the work done by the task in fighting for the return of sports and due to their hard work, the government has now given us the greenlight for the return of sports,” Tampane said.