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New Year, fresh hopes!

by Lesotho Times

Mikia Kalati

THE curtain has finally come down on the year 2018 and we all have great expectations for the year 2019.

Of course, we are all hoping that 2019 will be better than the previous year and my biggest wish is to see improvement in the country’s sports development.

This, for me, should start with the administration, which I feel has over the years, done little to help the country compete better on the big stages.

I was at the 2018 African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games in Botswana in December and I realised that we are behind compared to countries like Botswana and South Africa, who continue to put more effort on the development of young talent in their countries.

This has been Lesotho’s downfall for a long time and that’s why we continue to struggle at major global sporting events such as the Olympics and others.

While we were happy that our athletes were able to bring 13 medals home, for me that was not good enough based on the fact that South Africa won 144 with 69 of them being gold medals.

I know South Africa is well ahead of Lesotho in all respects and they always take a bigger team going for such games, which is always a boost in terms of challenging for accolades.

The host country, Botswana, also did very well and bagged 69 medals and this should be a motivating factor to Lesotho as the host country for the 2020 edition of the games.

Botswana and Lesotho have almost the same population and it should be worrying that they got 69 medals while we could only afford 13.

This is the biggest number that Lesotho has managed at the Region 5 Games having had a similar number in 2016 in Angola.

Like I have said previously, there is a serious need for introspection starting with the Ministry of Sports, the two sports mother bodies namely the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) and the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC), going down to the associations.

There is just too much incompetency and lack of accountability that needs serious attention for Lesotho to see any improvement in sports.

I do not want to go deep into the details but the performances of our athletes at the big stage year in and year out are evidence why we never excel.

The majority of the associations’ administrators do not have the passion and commitment to improve their organisations.

However, we always remain optimistic that they will learn from their mistakes and will come up with better strategies to improve our fortunes.

The 2020 Olympics are not far off and I strongly believe that Lesotho has a great chance to finally end its their long wait for the first ever medal at the global event only if we do things right.

This country has a lot of talent which needs the right resources and facilities for it to reach its full potential.

One other department which I feel Lesotho is also behind compared to other countries is the technical department.

I’m hoping that our mother bodies and the Ministry of Sports can explore all the options that they have to get coaches for different sporting codes opportunities to go back to the classroom to equip them with more knowledge to make them better coaches.

We also need stability at the associations because the infighting that has marred some of the federations such as that of boxing and tennis makes it difficult for their athletes to make any meaningful progress.

Compliments of the New season to all our readers!

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