LASA nominations open

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Mikia Kalati

THE Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) has opened nominations for the third edition of the Lesotho Annual Sports Awards (LASA) set for 6 April this year at the Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru.

The awards were established in 2016 as the Sports Legacy Awards to honour sporting legends in the country but have since been transformed into a bigger occasion and now have different categories for all individuals with different roles in the sporting fraternity like administrators, coaches, athletes and journalists.

LSRC development officer Malitsietsi Zwakala told the Lesotho Times that although they are yet to launch the awards, they have already opened nominations for different categories.

She also revealed that unlike in the previous years, the nominations will be done electronically.

“Yes, we have opened nominations for the awards and the deadline is 15 February 2019,” Zwakala said.

“In the past we sent out forms for submissions as these are national awards and we did not want it to be for only those based in Maseru or closer. However, we have decided to use online nominations for this year’s edition of the awards with a belief that the forms will be accessible to all.”

Lesotho Times photographer Thabelo Monamane walked away with the journalist of the awards in last year’s edition of the event while the Lesotho Times column won the Sports show of the year award.

The LSRC development officer said the commission is happy to stage the awards annually in appreciation of the hard work of its affiliate and those in the sports fraternity.

She indicated that they had initially planned to stage the awards in March but postponed to April due to the unavailability of a desired venue.

“I think the awards have made a big difference. We are proud to have come this long with the awards which are a motivation for everyone to do better for the next edition.

“Initially, the plan was to host the awards in March like in the previous years but unfortunately we failed to get the venue and had to postpone the event to April this year.”

The last edition of the awards was sponsored by the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation with each winner pocketing M5000.

Zwakala stated that they have written to the ministry and are still waiting for feedback to know if they would bankroll the awards again.

“Last year we did not have prizes but the ministry pledged towards the prizes. At the moment, we are still waiting to hear if the ministry will give us prizes again. We are aware that the government has financial problems but we are persuading them to ensure that we have consistency with the prizes and that they are paid on time,” she said.

Zwakala also indicated that by hosting the awards, they are also complying with the regulations of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5.

“These awards are in compliance with the regulations of the Region 5. So far, we have had nominations in the regional awards starting in 2017 with Manqabang Tsibela who was nominated for the Junior Female Athlete of the Year award while last year we also had Monamane vying for the Journalist of the Year award.

“So, our goal is to have a winner in the regional awards but so far, we have managed to have just nominees,” Zwakala said.

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