Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) distributed food parcels to 150 athletes identified from the 30 National Sports Federations (NFs) on Friday.
The Committee had received Covid-19 relief fund from the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) aimed at assisting hard hit athletes.
LNOC acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) ‘Mathato Makhorole indicated that last year the committee had a meeting with the NFs informing them that LNOC is seeking benefits to assist athletes during this trying times of Covid-19 pandemic.
She said LNOC received M35 000 and bought knitted, branded face masks and food parcels.
“Five players in every federation will receive food parcels and face masks. The administrators will also receive face masks. LNOC has also received a portion of money that will help players who are preparing to go for the Olympics under the program called “back to play,” Makhorole revealed.
NFs Representative, Advocate Teboho Masimong showed that the federations’ hope will be restored with this support.
“We will work hard and perform well at the upcoming Olympic Games scheduled to be held this year,” he noted.
The sports task team committee member and Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) Secretary General (SG) Litšitso Motšeremeli said the sports administration has to turn sport into a professional career because it gives people an opportunity to live healthy lifestyles, build their bodies and earn an income.
He advised LNOC management not to catch fish for the players because once they do, the players will develop a dependency syndrome on the Committee.
“Teach players how to fish,” Motšeremeli advised.
“I request that players and administrators adhere to Covid-19 rules and regulations set by the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) so that sports can be allowed to be fully operational,” Motšeremeli stated.
LNOC President ‘Matlohang Moiloa-Ramoqopu took over to inform that LNOC’s mandate is notably known as catering for Olympic games, and improving people’s lives through sports.
“Players’ lives are more important to the committee because with the players, we have this existing Olympic movement, therefore the committees’ task is to ensure that players are safe and they are healthy,” she said.
Ramoqopu added that the sports mother bodies have already prepared space for players and the administrators to be vaccinated when the country is ready to vaccinate the remaining population.
“We have realised that there is no sports without the players and we are aware that there are some challenges caused by the pandemic that they come across during their trainings, such as poverty,” she said.
On behalf of the athletes, Paul Mari from Federation of Rugby Lesotho applauded LNOC for the effort.
“We are very happy with what the LNOC has done because sportsperson are currently struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope to see more of such efforts,” Mari said.