March 28, 2022
Maseru-Olympian and top athlete, Khoarahlana Seutloali has received a sponsorship from one Storm Mountain Diamonds (SMD) Kao Mine worth M200 000.
The sponsorship will see the athlete receive financial assistance towards his preparations for the upcoming Commonwealth games to be held in Birmingham, England from 28 July to 8 August 2022.
The sponsorship is said to run until the athlete competes at the 2024 Summer Olympics scheduled to take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024 in the capital of France, Paris.
The SMD Kao Mine was the proud sponsor of the athlete and his wife â€˜Neheng Khatala-Seutloali during their Tokyo 2020 Olympics journey.
â€˜Neheng finished 20th in the Athletics Womenâ€™s Marathon final and Seutloali finished 67th in the Athletics Menâ€™s Marathon Final.
Speaking at a media briefing held in Maseru today, the Kao Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mohale Ralikariki stated that after they sponsored the athletes during their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, they realized they should be involved more going forward.
â€œOur journey with the athletes started last year when we came in to assist them during their preparations towards the games and their performance told us that had we been more involved from the start, they could have performed even better hence we are here today,â€ Ralirariki said.
He indicated that it was after the games that they started having engagements with the both Seutloali and his wife to understand what their needs are in terms of proper preparations for the upcoming games.
â€œDuring our talks with them, the main thing that kept coming up was the Commonwealth Games and the Paris Olympics and thatâ€™s when we agreed that if those are the biggest upcoming events then we are coming on board to assist financially,
â€œWe were in the middle of our discussions with both of them when just weeks before we concluded our agreement we learned that â€˜mâ€™eâ€˜Neheng had been afforded a sponsorship and that made us very happy hence today we are only about with Mr Seutloali,â€ He said.
He said they learned that although Seutloali possess a lot of talent, he comes up against stiff competition in top international games due to lack of support from his country hence they have made it their mission to sponsor him.
This is the first time a mine in Lesotho sponsors a professional athlete in this manner. The CEO pointed out that as a company, they would not only want to end with assisting Seutloali but in the future would also assist other sporting codes.
For his part, Seutloali thanked KAO Mine for the sponsorship which he said he hoped would also be extended to his other fellow athletes to enhance sporting professionalism.
The athlete further promised to continue doing better and working hard to make Basotho proud by delivering good results in all competitions he participates in.
â€œI promise the sponsors and the nation to work hard in training so that I can perform well in all the competitions that I will be taking part in,â€ he said.
The event was also attended by the Minister of Mining Serialong Qoo and the Minister of Gender and Youth Sports and Recreation (MGYSR), Likeleli Tampane.
Speaking at the same event, Tampane expressed her gratitude to the SMD Company for the contribution which she said would grow sports immensely.
â€œI am very proud to be part of this very important event meant to reveal the sponsorship for one of our athletes, now we see that sports has become a way that people can earn a living from and we are grateful to Storm Mountain Diamonds,â€ said the minister.