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AUSC team whittled down

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AUSC team whittled down  

Seabata Mahao

The number of sporting codes to represent Lesotho in the up-coming 10th edition of the Africa Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games has been cut down to four due to lack of financial resources.

Lesotho Sports and Recreation Committee (LSRC) this week announced boxing, taekwondo, women volley-ball and athletics as the only sporting codes to represent team Lesotho in the games running from December 2 to 11 in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Other sporting codes like football, netball, tennis, men’s volley-ball, gymnastics, judo, basketball and swimming that were initially earmarked to participate in the regional games will not travel with team Lesotho to Malawi in December.

LSRC Public Relations Officer, Jobo Polumo, told Newsday Sports that they did not have enough funds to cater for all the sporting codes they had planned to be part of team Lesotho.

He said the AUSC games have been allocated M4 million out of their requested M5.8 million budget by the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation.

Pulumo said they had to prioritise sporting codes based on their performances in the past AUSC Games given their tough financial situation.

He said the women’s volley-ball team were gold-medal winners in the 2021 AUSC Region 5 Youth Games, and have been given an opportunity to go defend their title. The other three sporting codes had won different medals in the 2021 games.  

Pulumo further said they were yet to finalise first team and second team selections for the four sporting codes under team Lesotho. They hope to announce the teams in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Lesotho Football Association (LEFA), has responded on Bahlabani’s exclusion from team Lesotho for the AUSC games. LEFA said it had already spent M400 000 to prepare for the under 17 national team for the games.

On his part, LSRC chief executive officer, Thabo Tsike said preparations were at advanced stage for team Lesotho to leave for the games and were expected to arrive at least three days before the start of the games.

Tsike said they would begin weekend training camps following the first selections.

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