LBSA eyes softball revival in schools
THE Lesotho Baseball and Softball Association has embarked on a mission to revive the sport in the Mountain Kingdom by re-introducing a high schools’ league scheduled to start this April.
According LBSA public relations officer, Lisema Mapetla, their executive committee met several high school teachers last weekend to map the way forward towards reviving the sport.
He said the association also plans to introduce an under-19 league for females as they have an invitation to participate in continental competitions in the same category.
“Every year we stage a tournament for high schools but we have learnt in the last three years that the number of teams taking part was decreasing based on our expectations,” Mapetla said.
“One of the things that had contributed to the decreasing numbers was the lack of resources and lack of interest from the students.”
Mapetla said there is a lot of positive feedback following the weekend meeting and they are confident that the staging of the tournament in the northern and southern parts of the country will go a long way towards reviving the sport.
“The LBSA executive committee held its annual meeting with high school teachers in charge of their respective softball teams last weekend.
“We had a number of schools present at the meeting such as St Johns, Holy Trinity, Moshoeshoe2 and Bereng High School.
“The committee is positive that this year will be an improvement in the high schools’ performance and participation. We believe that the tournament will be much bigger this year and will help us towards growing the sport,” he said.
The LBSA publicist also indicated that their association has been getting assistance from the World Baseball and Softball Association with specialists from Italy and United States visiting the country to conduct developmental programmes for primary and high schools.
“One of the decisions made during the weekend was to utilise the development programme started in 2017 which was dedicated for primary and high schools.
“It was given to us by our governing body and provided us with special assistance from the US and Italy by conducting coaching clinics and we are now on level two of it. They will come again to monitor progress.
“It also comes with equipment which we will distribute to the schools so that they have the required resources.
“What is also interesting is that we have an invitation African Softball qualifier for our under-19 women’s team and that means we are also going to have a league for them so that we can select the team from there. So, from now we will be focusing on both male and female teams,” Mapetla said.