‘Support for youth talent key to success’
A CALL has been made for Lesotho’s sports associations to invest more in youth development to ensure better performances in continental tournaments.
This was said by Lesotho Institute of Sports Associations (LISA) public relations officer Teboho Pholo in an interview with the Lesotho Times after the country won two gold medals at the Confederation of Schools Sports and Associations’ (COSSASA Ball Games) held in Botswana last week.
Lesotho was represented in the disciplines of soccer and netball with the under-13 and under-17 football teams going all the way to conquer competition that included Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia and Swaziland.
“I think our success at the continental stage and beyond lies in school competitions,” Pholo said.
“The youth stage is where you can find a lot of talent. However, it requires a lot of hard work to reach the full potential.
“That’s why I think we can only do well in competitions like the Olympic Games if we catch them young.”
He said sports associations needed to pool resources and ideas together to foster grassroots development.
“We all need to come to the party as sports associations and support each other, especially at the developmental stages of our athletes,” said Pholo.
“Surely, there is something we have not been doing right, hence our failures in major sporting events such as the recently-held Olympics.”
The LISA publicist said there was hope for Lesotho going forward, although there was an urgent need for the associations sociations to map a way forward in light of Lesotho’s ’s lacklustre campaign during the 2016 Rio Game which did not elicit a single medal.
“There are a lot of positives we can take from the Botswana games,ames, and it is even more gratifying that it was a competition for young players,” said Pholo.
“So we need to find ways to solve our problems as far as ourur poor showing at major sporting events is concerned.ncerned.
“We competedd against strong teams and still performed well with our two teams which proves there is potentialal in our country.”
He added: “We e need to come up with a proper strategy to realise our goals. I think we should start at the primary level and giveve the youngsters all the support they hey need to fulfil their dreams.
“I was happy to see our netball team competing peting better because our under-20der-20 team did not perform m very well in the recent regional competition thatat was also held in Botswanatswana a few weeks ago.” .”