Mohloai Mpesi and Chris Theko
The Minister of Sports Likeli Tampane has called for hard work by all sports players from all the codes as soon as they hit their different playing fields.
Tampane said this at the handing over of food parcels ceremony for athletes from the different sporting codes, which was held at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru yesterday. The recipients of the donation included journalists working in the sporting sector.
The donations are given to the players as part of governmentâ€™s Covid-19 relief initiatives to the different groupings and formations of society, especially the athletes who make their living through playing, and who have not been able to play since last April when the country delved into a Covid-19 induced lockdown whence sporting activities were halted.
Officiating at the ceremony, the Minister was escorted by the two sporting mother bodies, the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) and Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC).
The food parcelsâ€™ package valued at about M500 per person encompasses: 12.5 kg Maize meal, 2kg cooking oil, 2kg sugar, 2kg washing soap, 1 bar bathing soap, 5liter paraffin, 1kg salt, toothpaste, roll on, 2kg beans, packet of soup, candles, matches and teabags. She said those in the districts will also be helped.
Meanwhile, Tampane bemoaned the fact that while the country does its share of investing in the improvement of sports, most of the time our national teams, in particular football, participate in international competitions with no intent of winning hence always losing.
“Lesotho keeps on losing in all the different competitions, let alone Likuena. It is embarrassing, especially when we have report all these to Cabinet and Parliament using the public funds. It is shaming to report such bad results,” she said.
“We have to work together and figure out what we should do to change the situation,” she said.
“The presidents of the associations have to stop corruption and theft in the sport fraternity so that other sectors can emulate our good conduct. Let’s work hard and show those who think sports is just for past time that it can also be a way of life for us,” she said.
She further said every cent has to be accounted for. “These food parcels have to be accounted for to the last cent so that in the future we can be given again and prove that we did not use the food parcels for our purposes,” she said.
For her part, Chairperson of the task team, Moipone Mashale indicated that the preparation of the food parcels started last year although the process went through rough patches.
“The work started last year to prepare for the covid relief, it was a matter mandated to take a short time but we got hiccups along the way,” she said.
Meanwhile, President of LSRC Jobo Raswoko said they are happy to have received the food parcels as Covid-19 impacted the players’ lives since the sports activities were halted. He pointed that unity is strength.
“We are delighted as the commission and LNOC. Corona did a lot of things and affected many lives, but that made us all to work together to fight back in order to defeat it. This is one of the signs that we joined hands.
“We are thankful for this smooth working relationship. We worked together, hand in hand with the Minister and because of that, someone is going to sleep with full stomach,” he said.