ELSEWHERE in this edition we carry a story on the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) moving from their Ha-Mafafa offices to Maseru West and Setsoto Stadium.
Although LSRC acting chief executive officer Teboho Malataliana said they moved out only to save funds so that they could channel it towards sports development, sources say they intend to come up with a payment plan to service the M500 000 debt to Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO).
However, I applaud the LSRC for this move because it does not make sense to continue spending funds on rent when that can be avoided.
It is said that the LSRC was paying about M40 000 in rentals monthly. Considering that sport has not been getting anything significant from the government lately, it is not surprising that the LSRC owes BEDCO such a huge amount.
However, this also proves that it’s time the LSRC becomes self-sufficient instead of depending on the government. It’s time that the commission improves its business model to ensure that it attracts funders.
Earlier this year, the LSRC cancelled its Lesotho Annual Sports Awards (LASA) because of lack of funds. It also cancelled several other programmes.
If only the LSRC had decided to move out of the rented premises earlier, then it could have saved M40 000 monthly.
M40 000 saved monthly and the prospects of getting funders would put the commission at a much-improved position financially.
The LSRC has already been given the responsibility to take care of Setsoto Stadium by the government. Although the LSRC complained that they were thrown into the deep-end by taking over a facility that has lots of debts, the stadium makes lots of money from hosting different events.
What must simply happen is that the LSRC must come up with a vibrant marketing model and clean up the space instead of waiting for initiative to come from the government. It has always been clear that politicians do not give a hoot about sports. In fact, sport is right at the bottom of the list of their priorities. They see no value therein.
This is one of the reasons for which our country remains stagnant in different spheres; the failure by leaders to see how sport has enhanced the value chains of different communities. In the current coronavirus induced break for most countries, one can only imagine how much the United Kingdom economy is bleeding due to the unavailability of the English Premiership, the Spanish La Liga and the German Bundesliga among others.
In the meantime, in Lesotho it’s excess baggage.
Many of the LSRC’s affiliates have seen many of their programmes die because the mother body doesn’t have money to help them.
So, now it is time our sport administrators prove their worth by engaging sponsors who can help the commission fund its projects.
On the other hand, it is also important to spruce up the image of the association to ensure that potential partners see value in partnering with the commission.
Whatever, the reasons are, I applaud the LSRC for moving from the old offices. The move is just the beginning. The real work must start now.