ECONET Telecom Lesotho (ETL) has inked a M6 million sponsorship deal with the Lesotho Institutions Sports Association (LISA) to finance schools’ sports development for the next three years.
Launched this week, the deal will see ETL pouring M2 million into LISA’s activities annually.
Speaking at the launch, Econet general manager marketing and customer experience, ‘Mapusetso Ntšekhe, said the deal was signed last December but could not be launched because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The deal was signed in December 2021 but we could not launch it because of Covid-19 restrictions which resulted in the closure of schools and sporting activities,” Ntšekhe said.
“So, now that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, we decided to launch the deal.
“We have been investing in sports since 2011 because we believe sports are an essential element of education.”
The investment is expected to help the country nurture young athletes.
“The purpose of encouraging children to participate in sports at an early age is to nurture their talent and create future stars like referee, Souru Phatšoane, who was recently engaged in the Africa Cup of Nations 2022 final between Senegal and Egypt in Cameroon.”
Sporting codes to benefit from sponsorships across the country include, netball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, athletics, debate and chess.
The money will be spent on hosting high school and secondary school level competitions at zonal, district up to national level in line with the LISA competitions’ calendar.
Among its major annual events are different athletics codes as well as the national championships for ball games. These are preceded by qualifying competitions across the country.
LISA president, Teboho Pholo, said they would soon unveil their new soccer competition, the Econet Soccer Spectacular.
He said the sponsorship would also help them train their own coaches, referees and administrators.
“This is a huge investment for our schools’ sports which will also help also help us train our own coaches, administrators as well as officials.
“We are going to use the money to organise our activities, buying medals, trophies, playing equipment and other logistics.
“The main target is to produce competitive athletes for regional events that include the Confederation of School Sport Associations of Southern Africa athletics and ball games,” Pholo said.