M2.5 million boost for games

MASERU — The Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) has finally secured M2.5 million for Lesotho’s participation at this year’s All Africa Games.

The 84-man delegation is scheduled to leave the country on Sunday for the games in Maputo, Mozambique.

The games are set to run from September 3 – 18 and Lesotho will be represented by five sporting codes — disabled and able-bodied in athletics, taekwondo, boxing and tennis.

LSRC chief executive officer Kholoang Mokalanyane confirmed this development to the media during a briefing yesterday at the commission’s offices.

“The games were budgeted for but because of the world-wide recession, we were also affected but all the parties involved worked hard to ensure that there is money for the competitions,” Mokalanyane said.

“The ministry of sports and recreation, finance ministry and everyone involved worked very hard to ensure that even during these hardships, funds for the All Africa Games are availed,” he said.

LSRC deputy president Baba Malephane said the delay in securing funds had affected Team Lesotho’s preparations for the sporting showpiece.

“There have been problems along the way and as we all know that preparations cannot be undertaken without money, our winter camp did not take place as planned,” Malephane said.

“Our plans were to hold a training camp in winter because all our athletes are available but we could not,” he said.

Malephane however said Team Lesotho is ready to bring medals.

“Lack of preparations has not affected the athletes both mentally and physically as they are all looking forward to competing, not to participate.

“Their aim is to bring medals from the games so our athletes can qualify for the Olympic Games come next year,” he said.

The team will make a public appearance on Sunday just before its departure to Maputo.

Meanwhile, LSRC has established a Schools Sports Forum to deal with sports development in schools.

The forum, according to Mokalanyane, will be meeting for the first time on September 14.

“It is the commission’s policy to focus mostly on child development as one of its strategies to develop sports at grassroots level,” Mokalanyane said.

“Hence we’ve established a forum that will bring all the stakeholders from all different sporting codes under the commission (LSRC) to discuss how we can implement this policy”.

Mokalanyane said there were already people earmarked to undertake this assignment.

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