In a bid to cushion sports from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) has received M2 million from the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation.
LSRC had requested M6 million from the government to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on sportsmen. However, the budget was trimmed down to M3 million in September 2020.
In an interview with Newsday Sports, LSRC Spokesperson Teboho Rakhomo, indicated that they had received the funds on Wednesday.
â€œYes it is true we have received M2 million as relief fund money,â€ Rakhomo said.
On the other hand, Deputy President Moipone Mashale, who is also chairperson of the Covid-19 task team responsible for planning for the safe return of sports also confirmed receipt of the funds although she noted that it fell short of what they had initially requested.
â€œWe are yet to meet as the team working with the LSRC and Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) to map a way forwardâ€ said Mashale.
Although their budget was trimmed and having had to wait for a long time before getting the money, she said they were happy with the funds which would come in handy for the athletes during the prevailing times of lockdowns.
â€œThe money will be handy for athletes given that we are back in lockdown due to the increase in cases of Covid-19.
â€œMost of our athletes come from disadvantage backgrounds, therefore they really need assistance. We also have athletes who only earn their living through sport and with sporting activity halted by the lockdowns, things are not easy for them,â€ she said.
Mashale pointed out that they had initially made plans on how the funds were going to be utilised, adding however, that now that they only received M2 million, they will be forced to review their plans to ensure that they assist as many people as possible.
Since sports activities were halted in March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government had only managed to give out 150 food parcels to athletes in October last year.
Mashale said initially, they had planned to relieve sports in through food parcels and grants but the plans were now likely to change. List Table