... as the volleyball tournament rakes in M12 million
The 2023 CAVB Zone VI Senior Volleyball Club Championship tournament came to a thrilling finish with the Green Buffaloes of Zambia destroying Zimbabwes’ NABA 3-2 to successfully defend the men’s title they won in 2022 in Mozambique.
Mozambique’s Universidade Pedagogica de Maputo (UPM) won the women’s title by thumping Botswana’s Kutloano 3-0 in the final.
This year’s regional tournament, which saw over 40 clubs fighting it out for the top honours, was hosted by Lesotho under the auspices of the Lesotho Volleyball Association (LVA).
For their top achievements, Green Buffaloes and UPM each walked away with M45, 662 in prize money, trophies and gold medals.
The two runners-up, NABA and Kutloano each received M38, 336.13 in prize money, silver medals and trophies. Third place finishers received M35, 107 prize money, bronze medals and trophies.
On individual awards, the best blocker of the tournament was Muyunda Muyun; the most valuable player (MVP) being Charles Akakandelwa, and the best libero being Smart Mwale Mgio.
Addressing journalists at the conclusion of the games, LVA president Lehlohonolo Ncheke said the 10-day event significantly stimulated Lesotho’s tourism sector with 12.8 million circulating in the economy.
“The tournament injected around M12, 825, 000 into the country’s economy over the 10-day period of the CAVB Zone VI Club Championships. Records broken, relationships built, Lesotho sold to the international community as a preferred tourist attraction destination, a Mosotho child inspired but most importantly we thank CAVB for believing in LVA to host such a big tournament,” Ncheke said.
It was generally a tournament to forget for Lesotho clubs, safe for the youthful Lepereng OlympAfrica Club, who announced themselves by making it to the quarter-finals where they were eventually knocked out.
The tournament partners included the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission, Lesotho National Olympic Committee and Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation among others.
Metropolitan Lesotho, Maluti Mountain Cement and Executive Transport, Econet Telecom Lesotho, Dankie Trans Pty Ltd, Basutoland Ink, Mountain Kingdom Drops, Moneplaasi Wellness, She-Hive Association Lesotho, Exo Expo All Hire, SSP Sugar, Newsday Media, Naledi Outdoor Advertising, Boiketlo FM, Lilaphalapha TV, Junior Kots Motaung and Selloane Thakanyane and among the event sponsors.