My plea to new gov­ern­ment

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

The gen­eral elec­tions have come and gone and Ba­sotho now await the in­stal­la­tion of a new prime min­is­ter and cabi­net.

I’m not much into pol­i­tics, but have still de­cided this week to fo­cus on the chal­lenges the new gov­ern­ment faces as far as sport is con­cerned.

I think it is only nat­u­ral for the sport­ing fra­ter­nity to be op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture af­ter cast­ing their vote in the 28 Fe­bru­ary par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, which brought in a new dis­pen­sa­tion to be led by for­mer pre­mier, Pakalitha Mo­sisili.

There is no doubt lo­cal sport has suf­fered so much over the years that cer­tain quar­ters have given up on our abil­ity to com­pete at the high­est level, which is why I have this plea for the new gov­ern­ment.

And this spe­cial re­quest is for the in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion to change how sport has pre­vi­ously been looked down upon and taken as a hobby, and in­vest heav­ily in it.

There is se­ri­ous need to em­power Le­sotho’s youths and there is no bet­ter way to do this than in­vest­ing in sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties, which would en­sure ath­letes reach their full po­ten­tial.

Sport has now be­come big busi­ness that many sports­men and women have since over­come poverty through their God-given tal­ent.

For starters, our var­i­ous sports as­so­ci­a­tions have not been get­ting their regular quar­terly grants from gov­ern­ment, thereby ground­ing their op­er­a­tions and scup­per­ing what­ever hope there could have been of de­vel­op­ing fu­ture stars.

A good ex­am­ple is foot­ball where Le­sotho did not make it to three re­cent tour­na­ments, namely the Africa Cup of Na­tions, African un­der-17 Cham­pi­onship and un­der-20 African Youth Cham­pi­onship.

This should be cause for con­cern to sports lovers as it clearly shows we are lag­ging be­hind the rest of the con­ti­nent as far as foot­ball is con­cerned.

The Le­sotho Am­a­teur Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion also had to cancel a trip to ethiopia where our ju­nior team was ex­pected to com­pete over the past week­end.

I can go on and on be­cause our as­so­ci­a­tions have had to cancel many sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties due to lack of fund­ing.

That is why I am say­ing I would re­ally want to see the new gov­ern­ment mak­ing a dif­fer­ence as far as sport is con­cerned.

I’m keenly wait­ing to see who is go­ing to be ap­pointed sports min­is­ter, as I feel we need some­body with a good back­ground and un­der­stand- ing of sport.

Le­sotho has gone for far too long with­out win­ning a ma­jor tro­phy, which is a shame con­sid­er­ing this has not al­ways been the case.

We used to have the likes of Moses Kopo, Le­tuka Se­phula and Thabiso Mo­qhali per­form­ing well at ma­jor events such as the Olympics and do­ing this na­tion proud, but this is not hap­pen­ing any­more.

Again, as­so­ci­a­tions must show that they have what it takes to im­prove stan­dards, thereby en­cour­ag­ing gov­ern­ment and the cor­po­rate world to give them fund­ing.

Th­ese are all signs that some­thing has to be done if we re­ally want to com­pete with the rest of the African con­ti­nent.

We have all seen how the high per­for­mance cen­tre in Mau­ri­tius has im­proved our 200-me­tre sen­sa­tion, Mos­ito Le­hata, since he joined it in 2012.

I be­lieve if the new gov­ern­ment can show more in­ter­est in sport, we

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