Metro (Lesotho)

Overcoming gender stereotype­s in football, Teboho Letseka

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MASERU - Since joining the local soccer governing body, Lesotho Football Associatio­n (LeFA) as the Maseru District Football Administra­tor in 2011, the 33-year old female sports manager, Teboho Letseka has not looked back and continues growing from strength to strength in the male dominated industry.

Her hard work soon started paying off and just two years down the line, she was promoted to the senior position of Competitio­ns and Administra­tion Officer.

More opportunit­ies followed and today the single mother of one is the Head of the Competitio­ns Department and Club Licensing Manager.

She is also responsibl­e for the FIFA Connect Registrati­on. Her other duties include assisting the A Division Management Committee (ADMACO) as well as the Player’s Status Committee as the Coordinato­r.

“My duties include coordinati­on of ADMACO and Player Status affairs, giving assistance to the LeFA Secretary General on general operations of the associatio­n, registrati­on of clubs, players and officials in the FIFA connect system under close supervisio­n of SG. I also oversee the LeFA club licensing operations and being part of the associatio­n’s event management operation,” she highlights.

The holder of a Diploma in Office Administra­tion and Management from the Lerotholi Polytechni­c (Fokothi) obtained in 2009, has over the years proven to be a force to be reckoned with in football administra­tion affairs.

The vastly experience­d administra­tor also holds the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) Sports Administra­tion Level 1, Level 2 and the LNOC Advanced Sports Administra­tion certificat­es. She also holds the FIFA MA Sports Administra­tion certificat­e.

Her job took her to a number of countries in Africa where she attended several trainings to sharpen her administra­tive prowess.

In 2015, she attended the FIFA Connect workshop held in Gaborone, Botswana and the CAF Club Licensing Workshop in Johannesbu­rg, South Africa later that year.

The following year, she attended the CAF Club Licensing workshop in Kenya and a Club Licensing conference held in Egypt in 2018 before attending another CAF Club Licensing workshop in Uganda in 2019.

As LeFA Head of Competitio­ns and Club Licensing Manager, she trained all local football clubs on the new players and officials online registrati­on system called the FIFA Connect. All the Lesotho elite teams including the Women Super League teams are operating under the club licensing system under her supervisio­n. Born on July 6, 1988, Teboho Letseka is the daughter of the late ’Mathabo and Sello Letseka of Lithabanen­g, Teyateyane­ng in Berea. She is the first born in a family of three girls.

She did her primary education at Teyateyane­ng LEC Primary where she completed in 2001 then she went to St Agnes High School where she obtained her Junior Certificat­e in 2004 and her Cambridge Overseas School Certificat­e (COSC) in 2006.

Her journey in football began during her high school days at St Agnes, where she used to play as a defender. She continued playing in tertiary and after she graduated from Fokothi.

According to Letseka, there are a lot of opportunit­ies in football, although she is worried about the shortage of qualified female coaches, referees and administra­tors.

“I wish to use this platform to appeal to all females, who are passionate about football to always look out for opportunit­ies as LeFA keeps training people throughout the country in all department­s of football. I believe with hard work, determinat­ion and knowledge in one’s chosen field, anything is possible. I’m grateful to LeFA for giving me the opportunit­y to grow as a female administra­tor and believing in my abilities. I have collected a lot of knowledge and skills throughout the years working in the football industry.

“For me, there are no worst moments in football, I call them challenges which I really like to face and overcome. Working in a male dominated environmen­t has never been easy having to deal with men of different characters and background­s. But the trick is to accommodat­e all of them. Some challenges come through matters of the heart while others come in the form of intimidati­ons.

“Having a difficult boss in LeFA Secretary General, Mr Mokhosi Mohapi is another challenge that I had to overcome. But today I thank him for building in me a strongwill­ed woman who knows how to stand her ground,” she says.

She looks up to Mohapi who took her under his wing when he realised her great potential.

“He gave me a chance to grow and become a better person and today football is my language,” she says.

She adds: “I look up to the VicePresid­ent of the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC), Moipone Mashale who is a prominent female administra­tor. She has shown that progress starts with awareness that females can be successful and accomplish great things like men in leadership roles and male dominated industries. I also admire ’Malitsiets­i Zwakala, who is part of the LSRC secretaria­t. She has grown in leaps and bounds as a young female administra­tor working in this difficult industry.”

Letseka also enjoys travelling, watching soccer and spending time with friends and family during her leisure time.

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