Leaders urge new government to prioritise sport

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LAAA spokesperson Sejanamane Maphathe
LAAA spokesperson Sejanamane Maphathe

Mikia Kalati

Sports leaders are hoping the incoming government will channel more resources into sport in order to improve standards and ensure athletes earn a living through their God-given talent.

Basotho on Saturday held an election two years ahead of schedule following the collapse of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy, All Basotho Convention and Basotho National Party coalition government which came to power in June 2012.

A new government is expected to be announced this week, and sports leaders who spoke to the Lesotho Times on Tuesday said they hoped more funds would be poured into the various sporting codes to enable them to implement their development programmes.

Lesotho Football Association general secretary, Mokhosi Mohapi, said: “We all know that sport plays a big part in creating a happy environment so it would be really nice to see it being taken seriously. And one way of doing this is to channel more funds into the various sporting codes to improve standards.

“Government should always invest in its people and also support them in their aspirations. For years, stakeholders have been calling for more support for sport and I hope things will improve under the new government.”

Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association Public Relations Officer, Sejanamane Maphathe, also spoke about the need for more funding for sport under the new administration.

“Sport has suffered a lot over the last two years due to lack of financial support from the Sports Commission and Ministry of Sports.

“We used to receive an annual subvention of M200 000 from the Sports Commission which financed most of our activities, including sponsoring our athletes’ participation in international competitions.

“However, the funding has not been coming for the past two years, which has hurt our programmes so much, and our presence at these international tournaments.

“I hope the situation will improve when the new government takes over. We would want to see the leadership prioritising the improvement of sport in this country. Only through sound development programmes can we produce athletes capable of competing at the highest level.

“At the moment, things are very tough due to lack of funds and facilities and this is hampering the progress of athletics big time.”

On his part, Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) vice-president, Francis Koma, said he hoped the new government would improve sports facilities.

“We have a very serious challenge when it comes to facilities, so I would suggest that this be a priority for the new government. Our players can develop better through quality facilities, and hopefully, this will be top of the agenda for the incoming government, through the sports ministry, of-course,” Koma said.

“Again, it is our wish to take basketball to other districts of the country and not just confine it to Maseru. But for that to happen, we need the necessary equipment and facilities to train our youngsters who are the future of the sport,” he said.

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