Shelile, Moru in race for LSRC top post

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Mikia Kalati

THE Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) vice president, Caswell Moru, is set to go head-to-head with Treasurer Bahlakoana Shelile in the race to replace Khiba Mohoanyane as the new president.

The outgoing Mohoanyane is serving his last few days as the LSRC president and will vacate the position after the elections penned in for next month after two terms in the office. He has previously served as vice president before replacing Limpho Mokhochane in 2017.

Shelile and Moru, both confirmed to this publication that they have their eyes set on succeeding their current boss.

Shelile said that most of the sports associations are faced with administration problems which are hampering progress and that will be one of the key areas for him to attend to if he wins.

“As an individual, I might be interested in running for the post but it is the associations who must have trust in my abilities to lead them and I will be happy to do that,” Shelile said.

“I have been in sports administration for a long time and I have learnt that we have a lot of loopholes and challenges starting from the associations and the national executive committees.

“These problems have hindered the progress of our sports.”

Shelile said if he is elected, he will work towards bringing change positive in sports for the better of the country.

He said under his leadership, it would not be business as usual in the different associations to ensure that local athletes start producing positive results.

“I will do things differently for better results and I promise Basotho that in my first three months in office, they will see the difference in the executive, the administration of the LSRC and also on the ground.”

He said he will also ensure that the associations are engaged in policy making to ensure that they have a buy in in all the processes.

The outgoing treasurer said usually sports administrators are quick to complain about lack of financial support just to defend their failures instead of properly utilising the little that they have.

Said Shelile: “Most of the time we are quick to complain that the money is little but I always ask myself and my colleagues, are we honestly using the little that we have properly”?

“My answer is no. We are not using it properly for us to get positive results out of it. The little that we have can take us somewhere if we have plan properly.

“It is important to work hard on implementing our strategic plans. This where I think I will bring a difference with new ideas to ensure we implement our strategic plan and see where we can fail or succeed.”

Shelile said he will also work to introduce a sports trust fund to avoid the dependency on government subventions as well as from international sports bodies.

He said sports will also start attracting sponsors once the sponsors deduce some form of benefit from associating with sports. He also conceded that there was need for the country’s different sporting disciplines to start performing well in different competitions.

“It is very important because at the end of the day, we need to see satisfactory performances on the playing field when everything has been done properly.

“This should start with the mother bodies and their affiliate associations especially considering the upcoming Region 5 Games which the country will host in 2020.

“We should start now to establish our teams, even if they lack funds, let us not make it an excuse. The truth is, we always prepare our teams at the last minute while the government always releases the funds very late.

“The money sometimes comes a month before the teams depart for the tournaments yet some of the funds would be earmarked for the preparations. We must find a way to solve the problem.

“Sometimes the government would genuinely not have the money when athletes are supposed to be in camp but the issue is, how do we go past that problem?

“For me, preparations are very important. To a large extent, we have the right quality of athletes and coaches but we lack resources.

“We have also failed to use our high altitude to prepare our athletes. We are also surrounded by South Africa but I feel we are not building enough relations to benchmark with them as far as performance is concerned,” Shelile said.

For his part, Moru, who is also an experienced sports administrator, said it was vital to solve the problems before the performances can be improved.

“It’s high time we look at where we have gone wrong. If you look back, you will see that our plans are always short term. We also get it wrong in development where we are not doing enough to train school children.

“We need to train teachers because the kids spend most of their time in school. The teacher must also be equipped with sports coaching skills so that they can help the kids develop,” Moru said.

Moru said his dream is to see the ministries of sports and that of education working together as they both work with young kids.

“The sports and the education ministries need each other because the kids are in schools for their studies but also play sports.”

Moru admitted that the youth is facing a huge challenge of unemployment but said sports can help reduce the burden if developed properly.

“If you look at the employment rate, a lot of the youth are struggling to get jobs yet we have kids who are very talented. Sadly, we are not identifying and nurturing them properly. However, due to lack of proper youth structures, it’s difficult to help them reach their real potential.

“School associations must work together with sports associations so that they can help nurture young talent through proper channels,” Moru said.

He also lamented the proliferation of petty grudges among the leaders of the various associations and said these have retarded development. Moru said the administrators must also seek to understand the skills and the rules which govern their respective entities to ensure that development is smooth.

Moru also said that the strategic plan of the LSRC must always gel with that of the associations to ensure coherence.

“We must take lessons from Botswana and Swaziland whom we knew in the past to be the whipping boys in different disciplines but due to sound strategies they have vastly improved.

“Sometimes we manage to bring promising results after our shoddy preparations and you can imagine what we can do with proper planning,” Moru said.

Moru also said if elected, he would ensure that the country invests in coaches by taking them to different countries to learn new skills that will improve sports in the long-run.

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