Fierce battle for LNOC PRO post

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LTA president Moshoeshoe Molapo

. . . as Olympic body polls loom

Mikia Kalati

THE public relations officer (PRO) position, among others, will be up for grabs at the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) elections scheduled for 26 February 2017.

The incumbent, Moshoeshoe Molapo, is set to face off with Lesotho Amateur Athletic Association (LAAA) PRO Sejanamane Maphathe, Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FRL) secretary Litšitso Motšeremeli and Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) publicist Matšepo Mohau.

Below the candidates present their case for the position.

Moshoeshoe Molapo

Molapo, who is in his second term at the LNOC, is also president of the Lesotho Taekwondo Association (LTA). Molapo says he still has a lot to offer in developing the Olympic body.

“One of the reasons I am seeking re-election is because I am passionate about sports development. As a result, I feel that any person in contention for this position should be passionate and bring professionalism as well as expertise,” he says.

“I have a lot of experience and developed skills in sports administration over the years, hence I feel I still have a lot to offer as the PRO.”

If he retains his position, Molapo says he intends to prioritise restructuring the LNOC’s communications and marketing department so that it promotes the committee’s activities and works closely with the corporate world.

“I have already forged a good working relationship with the media and this is why you hardly see scandals as far as the association is concerned. This is because I keep them updated on all our programmes that people need to know about.”

Molapo says he understands how the media operates since he already works in the industry, adding he knows what is needed to make sure the LNOC maintains a good reputation in the media.

“I think there is a lot more that we can do together with the media in educating our people on what the LNOC is all about since the media already has a good picture of what we are all about.

“We will continue with our educational programmes targeting the media and the corporate world. They are meant to raise awareness on our goals and how we operate to take the sporting standards of this country to another level,” he adds.

Sejanamane Maphathe

Maphathe, who is LAAA PRO, says if elected he would ensure the LNOC would prioritise developing athletes so that Lesotho can be a force to reckon with at such major tournaments as the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

“My first goal is to make sure that Basotho know about the LNOC and what it is all about,” Maphathe states.

“I have tracked our performances as a country in the Olympics from the 2000 Sydney Games and I don’t understand why the team sports have not been given due attention because we have not been doing well in individuals sports.

“I think it is time that team sports are given priority and that will be the first port of call if I am voted in.”

Maphathe also feels the current LNOC leadership has focused too much on developing administrators and neglected the committee’s core business of developing athletes so they can do well in international competitions.

“We need more investment in nurturing budding talent rather than training administrators. If we take that route, we can perform better than we have done in competitions such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

“We also need to make sure that our young athletes are given an opportunity to compete in such competitions as the Diamond League track and field series in Europe to get used to competing against the best in the business. That’s what we need to ensure we don’t keep underperforming at major tournaments such as the Olympics,” he adds.

Litšitso Motšeremeli

Motšeremeli, who is also FRL secretary, says he is vying to be LNOC PRO because he wants to give the department a facelift.

“I want to use the experience I have gathered in the rugby association to help LNOC become the most successful sports body in the country,” he says.

“I believe I can give the PR department the facelift that it needs because I feel a lot of information has not been disseminated, especially on what the LNOC’s role is in the development of sports in the country.

“Apart from people in the media and sporting fraternity, few people know about the LNOC and what it is all about. I believe I can do a lot better in promoting its activities countrywide.”

Matšepo Mohau

The fourth nominee is LNA PRO, Mohau, who has committed to foster Olympism through the holding of the annual Olympic festivals and the Olympic academy if elected.

“One of my top priorities would be to make sure that the following entities; COSANOC (Council of Southern Africa National Olympic Committees), ANOCA (Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa) and their benefits are well known by providing information to all relevant stakeholders,” Mohau states.

“One other aspect that I feel needs attention is the revival and marketing of Olympism through annual Olympic festivals and an Olympic academy.

“There is also a need to help improve the marketing and publicizing of LNOC activities as well as stakeholder management.”

She says maintaining relationships with stakeholders, media, investors and communities would also be key in getting more investors and sponsors on board.

Mohau also feels the LNOC needs to move with the times and utilise modern technology in reaching out to its stakeholders through social media platforms in addition to the traditional media to promote its activities and the athletes.

“I think we can do better in using the various media platforms to promote the LNOC, its products and our athletes,” she says.

“I have also been doing a similar job at the Lesotho Netball Association since 2014 and that experience will be very helpful.”

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