Olympic success should be a priority

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Former LSRC President Limpho Mokhochane

Mikia Kalati

ALL eyes will be trained on the position of president of the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) when the organisation holds its annual general meeting on Sunday with the elections of a new executive committee as the main agenda.

The incumbent, Matlohang Moiloa Ramoqopo who has served two terms, is seeking re-election and she will go head to head with vice president, Tlali Rampooane and former Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) president Limpho Mokhochane.

Naturally, this has attracted mixed feelings within the sports fraternity as some feel Ramoqopo has run her race and should make way for new ideas.

I do not care much for who ends up as LNOC president as I am more concerned about the country’s performance at the Olympic Games.

I feel it is time that we started producing athletes that will not only compete at the Olympics but actually bring back medals.

The sports associations always complain that the corporate sector is not doing enough in terms of investing in sports and that will always be the case unless we cultivate a winning mentality especially at the highest level.

We all know that everyone wants to be associated with winners and the corporate world is no different in this regard.

Lesotho has been participating at the Olympic Games since 1972 but there is still nothing to show for it up to this day.

It’s about time that the LNOC makes winning medals at the Olympics a priority.

But those medals will not come like manna from heaven as it happened for the Israelites who miraculously who received food from God thousands of years ago.

It must begin with proper development strategies that will help our young talented athletes see their dreams of becoming Olympic champions become a reality.

This is the one department where we have failed dismally as a country at all levels of sports.

And LNOC, being the sports mother body, should dig deeper to make sure that developing young talent is the main priority.

Over the last few years we have had a number of athletes that have been granted Olympic scholarships such as star sprinter Mosito Lehata.

And seeing that Lehata is now in the twilight of his career, I would have thought by now a ‘new Lehata’ would have been identified to take over the mantle and undergo similar training.

My worry is that we do not have a clear back-up plan to help us have more athletes at the same level as Mosito.

So my advice to all the people who will take up their place in the new committee is to work to ensure we have more athletes under the Olympic Solidarity scholarships to boost our chances of doing well in the Olympic Games as well as other major international competitions.

I truly believe that we have the potential but it is a shame that we still have to go back to the likes of Thabiso Moqhali, Thapelo Sephula and Moses Kopo when we talk of the last time we achieved something big as far as major sporting competitions are concerned.

It’s been almost two decades since Moqhali made the headlines at the Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Commonwealth Games while the success of Kopo and Sephula also a came a little over a decade ago.

Our athletes must now re-write the history books and do that with the help of whoever assumes the reins at LNOC.

 

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