Tsibela, Rabale win big at sports awards
THIRTEEN year-old middle distance runner, Manqabang Tsibela stole the show at the Lesotho Annual Sport Awards in Maseru last Saturday where she scooped the best newcomer and best junior female athlete awards.
Tsibela was honoured for her impressive showing at last year’s Confederation of School Sports Associations of Southern Africa (COSSASA) and African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Games in Namibia and Angola respectively.
She won gold in the 1500 and 3000 metres.
Bloemfontein Celtic and Mehalalitoe captain, Boitumelo Rabale scooped the biggest award on the night, the Sports Star of the Year.
Rabale beat other nominees namely, Itumeleng Maseatile (dance) Phetetso Monese (cycling) Toka Badboy, Tšepang Sello (athletics) and Teboho Khantsi (cycling).
The left footed former Lesotho Women Super League top goal scorer was delighted with the award, saying it showed that her hard work was finally being appreciated.
“I am so happy to have won this award because I was competing with athletes who are very strong in their disciplines and I feel very honoured,” Rabale said.
“This shows that I am a good player and without commitment, discipline and passion I wouldn’t have achieved all this,” said last year’s player of the season and top goal scorer at Celtic.
The attacking midfielder said such awards could have been the missing ingredient in local sports and expressed confidence that this would motivate athletes to work harder in their sporting codes.
Meanwhile, Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) spokesperson Sejanamane Maphathe heaped praises on Tsibela, saying with proper care, she had the potential to become a world beater.
“I can’t say I was surprised that she stole the show looking at her previous performances, she is a good athlete and a diamond that needs to be taken good care of by this country because she has a potential of becoming a world class athlete,” Maphathe told the Lesotho Times.
“Her welfare needs to be taken care of and she needs to be taken to training camps in countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya that are dominant in long distances.
“There are certain areas that she needs to work on, for an exam- ple, she still runs barefoot without training shoes so she needs to be trained on the basics so that this doesn’t become a barrier in future,” Maphathe said.
The 2017 LASA full list of winners: Junior Female- Manqabang Tsibela
Junior Male- Toka Badboy Male Sports Person with a Disability- Bolae Lekoetje Female Sports person with a disability- Litsitso Khotlele Volunteer- Fako Masupha Newcomer- Manqabang Tsibela Sportsman- Phetetso Monese Sportswoman- Tšepang Sello Administrator-sekhoane Moshabesha
National Federation- Federation of Dancesport Lesotho Coach- Sebusiso Keketsi Referee- Moshoeshoe Molapo Sports Team- 2016 COSSASA U13 Football Team Sports School- Leqele High School Sports Star- Boitumelo Rabale Sports Show- PC FM Sports Show Sports Journalist- Thapelo Mabote
SPORTS LEGACY Chaplin Sechele Bishop Molatoli Limpho Mokhochane Tsitso Marumo Pitso Mosothoane Nkalimeng Makhube
boitumelo Rabale (left) receives her Sports Star of the Year award from Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu.
Manqabang Tsibela (left) receives her award from Lesotho Flour Mills Marketing Manager Bofihla Nneko.