It was a learning curve: Mapetla

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Mikia Kalati

THE Lesotho Baseball and Softball Association (LSBA) says its team gathered immense experience at the recently ended World Softball Championship held in South Africa despite a poor performance.

The Lesotho side lost 9-0 and 10-0 to Botswana and South Africa respectively on their first day at the games.

They lost 10-0 against to South Africa and 26-1 in the second meeting between the two countries but still managed to get bronze medal.

Lesotho ended up finishing in third position after three other countries in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe failed to show up.

LBSA public relations officer Lisema Mapetla said the Lesotho side was miles behind their competitors but still learnt a lot at the competition.

“The countries we played in South Africa and Botswana were ahead of us and had all the resources which made it easy for them to succeed,” Mapetla told this publication.

“By merely looking at the teams, you could tell they had better preparations than us and that is apart from their attires, equipment and meals.

“Lack of resources worked against us because we did not even have a proper budget for the games.”

On the field of play, Mapetla also said both Botswana and South Africa were proficient in terms of bating and pitching.

“Their bating and pitching were very good and at the end of the day we took as a learning curve for our team.

“These are some of the departments where in the end we realised that our team was lacking and we will try to address them as an association in preparation for future tournaments.

Mapetla said the invitation to participate at the championship came late and it was difficult to get funding from the Lesotho Sports and Recreation as it was not originally part of their activity plan and they ended up resorting to the last part of their subvention.

“We had to fund the participation of our team in the tournament with the last part of our subvention as the LSRC could not help us because the programme was not in the activity plan which we submitted to the commission.

“We now know about the standard of play at such competitions and what is also required is to have proper youth development programmes.

“Most of the teams were using players aged 19 despite playing for the senior team.”

He also said local players also need to improve their attitude and level of commitment to the sport.

Apart from the bronze medal, the Lesotho team also bagged a full softball kit aimed at helping in the development and growth of the sport in the country.

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