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Sport in dire need of more funds

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU –– Much more money is needed if sport is to develop in Lesotho. That is the message from the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) deputy-president Fako Hakane.

Hakane was speaking to the Lesotho Times after Letšeng Diamonds donated cycling equipment worth M90 000 to the Lesotho Cycling Association this week.

For the LSRC, the county’s governing sports body, such a bequest is nigh-on impossible.

Each year the commission receives M7 million from government, which then has to be allocated between all its 32 member associations.

“We definitely need more money,” Hakane said. “It (the current allocation) is inadequate for the requirements for sports.”

The LSRC’s main role is to ensure that funds allocated are utilised properly by its member associations. At the moment the commission’s biggest headache is allocating enough money –– and on time. Numerous sports associations received their share late this year.

“All the money we receive is from government, it helps when companies such as Letšeng come in to help our sport,” Hakane said. “And it is encouraging because at the moment our sport is stagnant because of the lack of funds.”

So is the LSRC searching for external sponsors?

“There is nothing that stops the LSRC from getting sponsors,” Hakane said. “It’s something that we are trying to do.”

By virtue of its popularity, football gets the most funding from the LSRC. But it remains nothing more than a Sunday league affair. Lesotho’s sporting disciplines generally have inadequate facilities and all, including football, are struggling to get resources.

“In Lesotho the concept of municipalities is a new thing. Fields are owned by local government. It’s only now that local government is seriously beginning to look into the issue,” he said.

“The LSRC is involved in the development of facilities, by that we are talking about co-operation with local government,” he said.“Tomorrow there is a meeting between the ministry of sports and local government where a memorandum of understanding regarding development will be signed.”

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