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LBSA seeks revival at SA tourney

by Lesotho Times
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Mikia Kalati

THE Lesotho Baseball and Softball Association (LBSA) is confident that the participation of its senior team in the World Softball Championship qualifiers which started on Tuesday and are expected to end on Saturday in Tshwane, South Africa, will go a long way in developing the sport in this country.

LBSA public relations officer Lisema Mapetla told the Lesotho Times that they conducted trials late last year to identify the 17-men squad to represent the country in the qualifiers.

The qualifiers will be contested by Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Zambia.

Mapetla said that baseball and softball had been facing serious financial challenges which made it difficult to host domestic competitions.

“In selecting the team, we held trials but because of the financial constraints, we made the trials open to allow all interested baseball and softball players to try their luck,” Mapetla said.

“The trials started in September last year and we hosted friendly games for our teams to help us prepare the team for the tournament from the second week of December.

“This also helped us select the team for the qualifiers.”

Mapetla said while they have struggled to stage domestic competitions due to lack of finances, 2018 was a better year since they received donated equipment from the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) which made a huge difference.

“Last year was better since we got a donation of equipment from our world mother body which helped our teams to remain in action.

“The WBSC saw our activity plan for the previous year and we requested for support and that’s when they donated equipment for baseball and softball. We were then able to go ahead with our activities.

“That also helped us to focus on development as we widened the net to primary and high schools in an attempt to develop the sport in the country.

“The equipment really helped us a lot as we were able to give our teams materials to use,” Mapetla told the Lesotho Times.

Mapetla said the attendance was poor at the few tournaments they held in 2018 but said they would this year go all out to ensure that the situation improves in the New Year.

“Finances were not the only problem last year but the attendances were poor while the standards also dropped. It’s then that we realised that we have to dig deeper into 2019 to revive the spirit and the love for the sport in the country especially in schools as that is where most of the talent is.

“So, we are hopeful that playing in this competition will help us as we did not stage our Independence tournament in October last year because only two teams had registered. We have an activity plan but whats important for us is to have our teams all playing so that we can have tournaments for them,” Mapetla said.

Baseball and Softball Squad:

Tumelo Makhakhe, Thabiso Namane, Mohloki Monne, Hlalele Tšolo, Bohlale Matšela, Mabilikoe Taoane, Khehla Khabanyane, Kamoho Fosa, Refiloe Lichaba, Sechaba Qobolo, Sekonyale Lebellang, Keitumetse Tšofu, Malefane Monne, Kennethe Morie, Monaheng Mahobe and Bakoena Seleteng.

 

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