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Alliance tourney launches stars into premier league and beyond

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Alliance tourney launches stars into premier league and beyond

Seabata Mahao

The annual Alliance High School Soccer Tournament continues to serve as a launching pad for young talent, helping players advance to the premier league and beyond.

To date, eight players scouted from the tournament have been recruited by premier league clubs, seven are now competing in the lower league, and one has taken his skills to neighboring South Africa.

This was highlighted at the launch of this year’s edition of the tournament, organized by the Lesotho Institute Schools Association (LISA) and sponsored by Alliance Insurance.

Alliance Insurance has committed to a three-year sponsorship agreement with LISA, starting in 2022, contributing M250,000 towards event administration, organization, prizes, and playing kits.

The tournament, which kicks off this weekend, will feature male high school teams from the Maseru, Mafeteng, Berea, and Leribe districts.

District playoff winners will meet in the semi-finals, with the ultimate district champions facing off in the finals. The tournament winners will receive a M7,500 cash prize, the runners-up will get M5,000, and the third and fourth-place finishers will receive M3,000 and M1,000, respectively.

Speaking at the tournament launch, Alliance Group Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, ‘Makeabetsoe Mabaleha, said the tournament has had a positive impact in providing a platform for premier league teams to scout talent.

“Eight of the boys who were part of this tournament were scouted and are now playing for premier league teams. One player has been scouted and is now playing in South Africa, with more than seven playing in the first division,” Mabaleha said.

She said they were hoping for the tournament to continue being a platform from which premier league teams can scout new talent to strengthen their squads.

“Alliance aims to reignite the love of sports amongst scholars to stimulate a sense of unity. Soccer teaches basic skills such as teamwork, perseverance, and decision-making, which the learners can apply in different aspects of their lives. We want to demonstrate our seriousness about developing Lesotho and its people through this tournament,” Mabaleha said.

Teboho Pholo, the president of LISA said they want to showcase talent at the grassroots level through their partnership with Alliance.

“We thank Alliance Insurance for this partnership as we are now in the third year, and the impact of the tournament has been notable. Several players who are products of this tournament are already playing at the premier league level,” Pholo said.

Since 2022, the High School Tournament has involved 32 schools, helping to hone and grow the skills of over 800 youngsters.

Beyond football, the tournament has positively impacted participating high schools by significantly improving their final LGSCE examination performances.

It also provides a consistent daily routine for students, steering them away from drugs and other negative behaviours, while teaching them problem-solving, goal-setting, conflict resolution, and commitment, among others.

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