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Supreme Council of Sportspleased with preparations

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Pascalinah Kabi

LUSAKA — Supreme Council of Sports in Africa (SCSA) has commended Lesotho for handling its preparations for the Lusaka Games better this time. Lesotho has hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons in the past after putting in shoddy preparations for the games. Last year, Lesotho’s players took part in the games without new attire which was an embarrassment to the country. The team also arrived late for the 2010 games after the government failed to release funding on time. The Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSCR) even threatened to boycott the games but were forced to report in late because “the penalty charges were twice the Lesotho budget”.

Sports Minister Thesele ’Maseribane, who accompanied the team to Lusaka, told the Sunday Express that the “organising technical team had congratulated Lesotho for managing to come prepared for the games this time”. He said this showed the country was right on track in addressing its sports development issues. “They were even congratulated on managing to buy both competing and leisure attire for the whole team unlike in the past,” ’Maseribane said. “They have also been applauded for arriving in the village well ahead of the games as it has not been the practice in the past editions.”
’Maseribane is expected back home today.

Lesotho will take part in football, netball, tennis, boxing, athletics and athletics for Paralympics. ’Maseribane however said the country is still faced with lack of planning in terms of budget and preparations.
“We however need to start planning well ahead of events like this one in terms of budgeting and preparations to ensure that we compete for more medals without any hassles,” he said.
He said he is already in talks with potential sponsors for the next edition of the games. Lesotho failed to host 2006 SCSA Games because of lack of funding and poor sporting infrastructure that does not meet international standards.
“In December, this month, I will be officially announcing the progress we are making in terms of sponsorship as we prepare ourselves to host these games,” he said. He said he does not see why Lesotho cannot successfully host these games if other countries like Zambia have as long as there is political will. “A 50-metre pool was constructed in just 90 days and a stadium that has a sitting capacity of 50 000 was also completed in less than a year. “This goes to show there is a political will here and we need to start adapting to that if we want to grow as a country,” he said.

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