Sports

Federations not ready for return of sports

Chris Theko

Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) public Relations Officer Teboho Rakhomo insists only a few national associations are ready for the return of sports now that that the government has lifted the ban on sporting activity. 

Since mid-March this year, sports became part of the banned activities necessitated by a national lockdown which was imposed following the global outbreak of the Novel Corona virus (covid-19). Although at the time there were no positive confirmed cases in Lesotho, the country was halted to a complete stand-still and sport was no exception.

It was only late last month when the Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro relaxed some of the lockdown provisions as of October 1, whence sport would resume albeit with a limited attendance number of 100. 

Meanwhile, Rakhomo indicated that because of the costs that some of the sporting associations have to incur to resume their activities, it is proving to be expensive to finance their resumption. 

He said however, that the Commission is drawing up guidelines to assist those who are ready to return on how best to conduct themselves when they resume. 

“We are yet to sit down with the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation to draw up the guidelines to be followed by the federations that are ready to start. We must ensure the safety of everyone before we open because we also do not want sports to spread the virus. We don’t want to regret our decision in the end,” Rakhomo said.

He said amongst other things the associations would be expected to screen athletes regularly and to also record the attendees to ensure contact-tracing.  

A few days after the announcement of relaxed lockdown measures by the PM, some sporting federations bemoaned how the LSRC, the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation had all neglected them at a time of greatest need. 

Rakhomo maintains that the LSRC does not yet have the requisite funds to assist the federations with their programmes. 

“The LSRC does not have money as we still haven’t received our subvention from the ministry and it will be difficult for us to assist associations,” he said, adding that associations that are ready to resume are more than welcome to present their plans.

“Our expectation is that those who are ready will come to us so that we know and approve their plans because we do want to see all sports codes resume”

Meanwhile, the sports ministry has pointed to the finance ministry whom they blame for dragging their feet in availing the funds to them in order for the sports ministry to duly disburse subventions to the various sporting associations.

For their part, the Ministry of Finance through the Information Officer…

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