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Early Christmas for youth games top performers

by Lesotho Times
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Moorosi Tsiane

TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant, Vodacom Lesotho, has rewarded 16 athletes who were outstanding in the inaugural Maseru Youth Games competition with Samsung A04e cellphone receiver sets and 20 gigabytes of data each.

The 16 are Amohelang Lepola, Limakatso Mota (athletics), Joel Piti, Masaeeng Seipati (boxing), Bokang Motsamai, Bonolo Ntsielo (chess), Khotsofalang Rakaota, pontso Makatile (cycling), Molelekeng Nchere (rugby), Pitso Phalatsi, Zanele Mafechane (table tennis), Teele Mokoena, Matseliso Moima (taekwondo), Mpho Leshoele, Phuthi Leshoele (tennis) and Ntebaleng Morobi (volleyball).

According to the Lesotho National Olympics Committee (LNOC) High Performance Coordinator, Likeleko Lepitla, said the 16 athletes were the top performers in the Under-20 games held from 3-6 October 2023.

She said as organizers of the event, they decided to take one girl and one boy from each of the nine sporting codes, which  competed in the games.

“We had about 400 athletes competing in nine different sporting codes. Seven of the sporting codes were individual sports while the other two were team sports,” Lepitla said.

“From the individual sports we took two athletes a boy and a girl while from team sports, we  just selected one player from each of the two sporting codes who were top performers.”

LNOC president, Tlali Rampooana, thanked parents for allowing their children to partake in sports and encouraged the young athletes to continue working hard as more rewards awaited them.

“I want to thank parents for releasing their children to participate in sports. As a country we will not have any future in sports if children are not into sports. I would also like to thank the two mother bodies, LNOC and LSRC officials, for coming up with this great idea,” Rampooana said.

“To our winners I am also happy for you, and I hope this will be motivation for you to keep on working hard. Next year we are going to the Paris Olympic games and the next edition is going to be the Los Angeles Olympics and I want to see you there. Do not let your parents down.

“I would like to also extend my sincere thanks to the sponsors of the event and especially Vodacom Lesotho. We wouldn’t have pulled this without your help. We also promise to be more organized in the next year edition.”

Meanwhile, on behalf of the sponsors, Vodacom Lesotho’s marketing specialist, Pulumo Taole, thanked the LNOC and LSRC for their work in establishing the relationship with her company.

He said they decided to sponsor the event because they “saw a future in it” and “to empower the youth”.

“We have seen the future in this event and again we are doing this to empower these young athletes as we want them to be tomorrow’s superstars. It was a great effort that they put in and I can proudly say we are going further together,” Taole said.

On behalf of the athletes, cyclist Pontso Makatile, thanked Vodacom for the gifts and  hoped they would build on from the momentum they had created.

“We are very thankful for these gifts, and it means a lot to us to see that our efforts are being noticed and appreciated. I hope these gifts will be a motivation to us and our fellow athletes to keep on working hard as we build on for the next edition. This is really a big day for us, and we are grateful,” Makatile said.

Dubbed Maseru Youth Games, the event is meant to identify, nurture, and prepare local young athletes for participation in  various world and continental youth games. It is going to be an annual event and will be upscaled to the national level.

LNOC and LSRC said one of their objectives in introducing the  youth competition  was to promote unity in the country.

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