Wind­fall for ath­letes

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati Moorosi Tsiane

Li­oli coach mosholu ‘Shoes’ mokhothu has praised his charges for their eight-match win­ning streak, which saw them end the first round of the 2014/15 Vodacom Premier League sea­son in pole po­si­tion.

The Tey­ateya­neng-based out­fit have ended the year with 31 points—seven ahead of sec­ond-placed Bantu who are the league ti­tle hold­ers.

after win­ning the LNIG Top 8 tour­na­ment and in­de­pen­dence Cup two months ago, Li­oli have in­creas­ingly be­come an in­vin­ci­ble ma­chine and league cham­pi­onship favourites although there are still 13 more matches to play in the sec­ond round of the com­pe­ti­tion.

“I’m very sat­is­fied with the per­for­mance of the team and all the credit should go to the play­ers who worked so hard to get the Team Le­sotho which did the coun­try proud at the just-ended african Union Sports Coun­cil (AUSC) Re­gion 5 Games held in Zim­babwe from 5-15 De­cem­ber, has been guar­an­teed cash re­wards rang­ing from m1000 to m5000 by sports min­is­ter Th­e­sele ‘maserib­ane.

The team claimed a to­tal of 12 medals— three gold, four sil­ver and five bronze—at the re­gional, 10-na­tion tour­na­ment held in Bu­l­awayo.

Speak­ing dur­ing the team’s re­cep­tion held on Tues­day at Bam­batha Tšita Sports arena, ‘maserib­ane said the ath­letes de­served recog­ni­tion for their ef­forts.

Retšelisit­soe Tšoeu won gold medals in the 800 me­tre and 1500 me­tre races , and sil­ver in the 400-me­tre dash, while Bo­lae Lekoetje claimed one bronze in the vis­ually im­paired ath­letes cat­e­gory.

moku­lu­bete maka­tise scooped gold in the 1500m and two bronze medals in the 5000m and 3000 m races, with mape­sela mape­sela also win­ning bronze in the 5000m race.

Box­ers Teboho ma­sia, Teboho Tšiu and moshoeshoe monyake each won a sil­ver re­quired re­sults in the first round, which we com­pleted at the week­end,” mokhothu.

“it was never easy as most of our matches had to be post­poned due to our play­ers’ in­volve­ment with Likuena. as you are aware, we had sev­eral play­ers in the na­tional team that was tak­ing part in the 2015 africa Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fiers and had to play catchup, with some of the games be­ing played mid­week, thereby putting the boys un­der a lot of pres­sure.”

mokhothu fur­ther said his play­ers had shown ma­tu­rity and re­sponded pos­i­tively to the tough sched­ule, and also prov­ing their pedi­gree.

“it is al­ways a mo­ti­va­tion to end the year with tro­phies and I’m con­fi­dent we will con­tinue with the same form in 2015.”

The Li­oli men­tor also noted his tar­get was to re­turn the league ti­tle to Tey­ateya­neng, after sur­ren­der­ing the cov­eted crown to Bantu last sea­son. medal, while Kukutla mot­lo­joa and alex mosehle clinched bronze in the ten­nis dou­bles.

‘maserib­ane told the ath­letes and del­e­gates who at­tended Tues­day’s cer­e­mony that sport had the ca­pac­ity to change the sta­tus of a na­tion, hence the need to give due recog­ni­tion to those who do well in such in­ter­na­tional events.

“Sport can make a coun­try uni­ver­sally known and re­spected, and the good work is done by hard­work­ing ath­letes.

“our medal-rank­ing has im­proved as a coun­try, so i would like to thank ev­ery­one who has been in­volved with this team and played a role in its suc­cess in Bu­l­awayo. When i was in Zim­babwe with you, i promised that those who were go­ing to do well would be re­warded. As a re­sult, all the of­fi­cials will each get m2000, while each ath­lete pock­ets m1000,” ‘maserib­ane said.

“in ad­di­tion, gold medal­ists will each pocket m5000, with those who won sil­ver and bronze each tak­ing home M4000 and M3000 re­spec­tively.”

‘maserib­ane also ad­vised sports ad­min­is­tra­tors to make use of a mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (mou) the coun­try has en­tered into with South africa.

The fes­tive sea­son break, he added, would help the play­ers re­cover be­fore em­bark­ing on the sec­ond leg of the cham­pi­onship.

“i have given the play­ers a break un­til 29 De­cem­ber be­cause they need to for­get about foot­ball for a while so that they come back full of en­ergy for the New Year.

“There is a lot to fight for in 2015 as we must con­tinue to de­liver so that we win the league ti­tle, while we also have to de­fend the Top8 trophy,” he said.

The Tse Nala men­tor, who pre­vi­ously won the league ti­tle with LCS, also thanked the support he has been re­ceiv­ing from the Li­oli man­age­ment, sup­port­ers and rest of the tech­ni­cal team.

“We are all pulling in the same di­rec­tion, which makes the job that much eas­ier, and for this show of support, i am ex­tremely grate­ful.”

mean­while, the sched­ule for the sec­ond round of the sea­son is yet to be con­firmed.

“We have an mou with South africans who are will­ing to help us de­velop our sport, so i would like to en­cour­age our ad­min­is­tra­tors to make use of such an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop our ath­letes. We will also send this team to a high per­for­mance train­ing cen­tre in Bloem­fontein next year but the dates are yet to be fi­nalised,” said ‘Maserib­ane.

on his part, Team Le­sotho head of del­e­ga­tion, Retšelisit­soe Lephaila, said com­pe­ti­tion was tough in Bu­l­awayo, hence the team de­served praise for a job well done.

“it was a great jour­ney, from the time we started prepa­ra­tions for the tour­na­ment to the com­pe­ti­tion it­self, so i see the 12 medals that we won, as a huge suc­cess. We faced many chal­lenges along the way, such as fund­ing, but we still came out with some im­pres­sive re­sults in Bu­l­awayo,” Lephaila said.

“We have po­ten­tial in this coun­try, but we can only re­alise it fully with enough support from all stake­hold­ers.”

Lephaila also said Le­sotho should send a larger team to such tour­na­ments to boost its chances of win­ning more medals.

“We are al­ways forced to trim our teams due to fi­nan­cial prob­lems, which re­duces our chances of win­ning more medals. other coun­tries would be hav­ing more com­peti­tors and end up be­ing top on the medals ta­ble, which would not be the case if we also had a sim­i­lar lux­ury of tak­ing a larger con­tin­gent.”

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