Our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem needs to cater for sports

Sunday Express - - SPORT - Moorosi Tsiane Moorosi Tsiane

IT IS al­ways em­bar­rass­ing to see Le­sotho teams re­turn from in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions with be­tween their legs.

It was the same re­cently when two lo­cal team re­turned from Botswana and eSwa­tini where they both per­formed dis­mally in their re­spec­tive com­pe­ti­tions.

The Le­sotho Univer­si­ties and Col­lege Sports As­so­ci­a­tion (LUCSA) was in Botswana for the CUCSA games where they came back with­out a sin­gle win. They com­peted in mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines among them soc­cer, vol­ley­ball, ath­let­ics and chess but failed to reg­is­ter a sin­gle win.

Three bas­ket­ball teams namely, Bokamoso Rebels, KTA All Stars and Bokamoso Dol­phins par­tic­i­pated in the eSwa­tini In­vi­ta­tional In­ter­na­tional Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment. Only Rebels reached the quar­ter fi­nal stage while Dol­phins and KTA were kicked out in the group stages.

For me th­ese re­sults point back to the is­sue of poor sports ad­min­is­tra­tion that has tainted our his­tory. There is no de­vel­op­ment to talk about.

KTA has par­tic­i­pated in eSwa­tini’s an­nual tour­na­ment for the past seven con­sec­u­tive years yet there is still noth­ing to write home about their in­volve­ment.

The team also had a lack­lus­tre per­for­mance in the same com­pe­ti­tion last year but for now we will set that aside as I pre­fer to con­cen­trate on LUCSA per­for­mance.

We are al­ready strug­gling as a coun­try when it comes to clear de­vel­op­ment strate­gies. How­ever, I think if we do more to ac­com­mo­date sports de­vel­op­ment in our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem then we may en­ter­tain thoughts of de­vel­op­ing.

LUCSA pres­i­dent Koko­lia Ram­a­bele has said they de­velop tal­ent for na­tional fed­er­a­tions and it ap­pears al­ready, they are start­ing on the wrong foot­ing.

It is ev­i­dent that LUCSA was ill pre­pared for the com­pe­ti­tions. I feel for the ath­letes who are peren­ni­ally hu­mil­i­ated due to lack of prepa­ra­tion. We can­not be con­tent with this con­stant bungling.

It is em­bar­rass­ing that we dream of mak­ing a mark on the con­ti­nent yet the best we have done in small com­peti- tions like CUCSA is reach the quar­ter fi­nals.

It should be clear that I ap­pre­ci­ate the ef­forts made to par­tic­i­pate in re­gional and in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ments for dif­fer­ent sport­ing codes. Surely, that is the only way to weigh our teams’ ca­pac­ity.

How­ever, why should we set­tle for less? Should we con­tinue to ac­cept medi­ocrity as a coun­try?

The re­cent poor string of per­for­mances should be sig­nal tolls to sports ad­min­is­tra­tors that it is time to step up and do some­thing right.

We have to start do­ing what is right and it has to be done right from the grass­roots to en­sure a holis­tic over­haul. That means LUCSA is one of the in­sti­tu­tion that needs to play an ac­tive role.

Our ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem should do more as the pri­mary stage at which tal­ent is nur­tured.

South Africa has a run­ning Univer­si­ties League through­out the year yet ours com­pete in two tour­na­ments ev­ery year.

It is not a sur­prise that they al­ways fail to rise to oc­ca­sion when they at­tend the same com­pe­ti­tions be­cause their com­peti­tors are bet­ter pre­pared.

Of course, we have teams like Rovers, Limkok­wing Univer­sity and Lerotholi Polytech­nic com­pet­ing in na­tional leagues (in foot­ball and bas­ket­ball) but it is clear that is not enough.

This calls for sup­port from the govern­ment as the big­gest stake­hold­ers. The govern­ment needs to in­vest more in the fu­ture and sup­port­ing grass­roots sports is one way of do­ing that.

LUCSA only has two com­pe­ti­tions ev­ery year due to lack of fund­ing be­cause their sub­ven­tion from the Le­sotho Sport and Recre­ation Com­mis­sion is not enough.

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