The Lesotho Table Tennis Association (LTTA) has been given a green light to host the up-coming African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Table Tennis Championship.
The annual tourney pencilled for December 6 to 10 at the Lehakoe Sports Arena, was granted the green light last Friday, at a joint sitting of the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission LSRC representatives, Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC), and region 5 President.
LTTA spokesperson, Thato Mathibeli, indicated that they are happy that the games which were initially threatened by rough financial hurdles are finally going to see the light of the day.
The go ahead given by the above mentioned parties comes after serious financial hick-ups, after the association last month sought financial backing from the LSRC to prep for the games, but the sports mother body indicated that the Commission was penniless.
“We are happy that we are finally going to hold these games. It is our time and we have been praying that the games come to our country so that we can also augment equipment for the games,” Mathibe said.
“It has been agreed by the three parties that we will be hosting the games and that LNOC is to be responsible for the financial backup needed to prop up preparations for the tourney,” she indicated
Mathibe further stated that LTTA almost threw in the towel, as they were hopeless that the Lesotho will host the games which are anticipated to change their lives.
She further revealed that region 5 has already injected M24 000 into the preps, and this goes straight to paying for the venue at the Lehakoe Sports arena, also indicating that they are also going to buy 16 tables and 32 scoring boards.
“It has been a long struggle, since one of the major reasons cited was that the government did not have money to prep for the games, “she said.
“LNOC had also indicated that they could only afford to pay for the venue,” she added.
“We came to the point where we also contemplated foregoing the opportunity to host the games. However region 5 refuted our intentions, and went further to persuade us to be patient, as they were also planning to assist us,” she said.
“Region 5 signalled that it was Lesotho’s turn to host the games and we could not cancel them. They insisted that we needed the equipment to help develop the sport in the country,” Mathibe emphasised.
She moreover indicated that tables and score boards are expensive and region 5 has promised to buy such equipment for LTTA, while LNOC will be responsible for transporting the equipment once it enters country, and at the same time pay for tax,” she said.
“Each one of the participating countries will however be paying for their own accommodation, food and other needs. As the hosts, Lesotho will be required to pay for region 5 executives’ accommodation,” she stated.