Basotho have been called-unto to rally behind the country as it prepares to play host to the upcoming African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games to be staged in Maseru from 3to 12 December 2021.
Speaking at the launch of the tournament’s marketing campaign marked by unveiling of the Games’ branding materials, Minister of Gender and Youth Sports and Recreation, Likeleli Tampane implored Basotho to support the initiative as the country’s success depended on the populace’s support.
Initially, the games were supposed to have been held in 2020 as they are called the AUSC Region 5 Youth Games Maseru 2020. They were postponed to this year at the back of the eruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Lesotho is going to benefit significantly from the games. We are striving to ensure that most of the preparatory work is done by locals.
“The games are for Basotho and cannot be successful without the support of Basotho. Let us all rally behind our teams and show ownership of the games,” Tampane said.
At the event eight branded vehicles belonging to the ministry were displayed but the expectation is that over 300 cars will be branded as part of the marketing and public sensitization about the competition.
Tampane said the branding of the cars is a huge step towards the successful hosting of the games. She also praised the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) as well as the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) for the commitment they have shown in readying for the games.
“Despite the challenges that include a very limited budget and the Covid-19 difficulties, at some stage, it was unclear if the games would happen but through the hard work of the ministry, the LNOC and the LSRC, it is now clear that the games will succeed.
“The Region 5 members have also been supportive to the extent that they even contributed financially to help Lesotho host the games,” said Tampane
Meanwhile, for his part, the games LOC Chief Executive Officer, Morake Raleaka said their mandate has been to make sure the games are successful.
“We have been tasked with making sure that the games take place and reach the masses across the region,” Raleaka said.
He further explained that they decided to stick with the year 2020 on the name because that was the original year for the hosting of the games.