Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) Best Sportsmanship Award recipient Malefane Rafutho believes the recognition would motivate him to become an even better player.
Rafutho, who captains the national team, Likatola and Giants, was presented with the award on Sunday evening during the Miss Lesotho Rugby pageant held at AVANI Maseru. His teammate Rethabile Sekola and Letsielo Mabitle of Beavers were presented with certificates of appreciation on the night, alongside Likatola coach Roi Nyasha.
“This really means a lot to me; I was not expecting this. I believe the recognition is going to motivate me to be an even better player in future as I can see that there are people out there who appreciate the effort I am putting into the sport,” Rafutho said.
The 20-year-old said he only started playing the sport in 2011 when it was introduced in the country and is proud of his achievements and how far rugby has grown in Lesotho.
“I am actually one of the five people who started the sport in the country four years ago. I was the youngest at that time, and I must say that I am very proud to see the sport growing to what it is today. At first we were just doing it for fun but it suddenly became big, which is a good thing for the country as it gives the youths a wider choice of the sport they would want to pursue,” he said.
However, Rafutho said there is still a long way to go for rugby to become the country’s major sport.
“Considering the fact that we just started about four years ago, I think we have been doing much better both in the Eastern Free State League in South Africa and our domestic league but we still have a long way to go if we are to be recognized worldwide when it comes to the sport,” said Rafutho.
“So I need to keep working hard and pushing others to double their efforts because it cannot be done by me alone. We need to start working as a unit to reach that goal.”