LESOTHO will soon have International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rated referees after the country was asked to submit a list 25 trainees for a Level 1 refereeing course.
The Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) has also submitted a list of 20 coaches for a coaches’ course that would run concurrently with the referees’ course.
LBA director of referees and table officials Tšeliso Kheleli told the Lesotho Times last week they recently submitted a list of participants to FIBA Africa for an online course whose dates are yet to be confirmed.
FIBA Africa resorted to hosting online referees and coaches’ courses because of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“This crisis (Covid-19) has forced us to a general reorganisation of our activities and this is the reason why we are coming to you, to inform you that FIBA Africa will set up online trainings in the coming days for our national federations coaches and referees,” a recent letter from FIBA Africa to its affiliates said.
The theoretical courses would be in four modules of one hour each. They will last for one week and take place on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The courses will be done online.
“Practical courses will be scheduled in your country as soon as our activities resume for the face-to-face part of the programme,” FIBA Africa said.
Each country was requested to submit a list of 20 to 25 who are less than 31 years of age per each course.
Kheleli said currently, Lesotho has no FIBA recognised referees with the best qualified referees being holders of the National Level 4 certificate.
“We have already submitted the names and but we also submitted a separate list of seven candidates who are above 31 for whom we made a special request to be included.
“That was motivated by the fact that we are supposed to host the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 games in December this year and we need a larger pool of qualified referees,” Kheleli said.
LBA director of coaches and development Bafokeng Salae applauded FIBA Africa for the initiative adding that having a large pool of FIBA qualified officials would boost the standard of the sport.
“This is a good move that will help the country because we couldn’t afford inviting experts or even sending a large number of coaches to these courses,” Salae said.
He said they have recommended mostly coaches from the high schools’ league to ensure continuity.