The national table tennis team promises to make the country proud as they leave today heading to Botswana for the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 table Tennis Championships which roars into life tomorrow to December 15 in Gaborone.
The team was meant to leave yesterday but there was no financial assistance from the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) fund the trip.
The Lesotho Table Tennis Association (LTTA) Public Relations Officer Thato Mathibeli, said the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) came to their rescue.
“The trip to Botswana had already been cancelled after being told by the LSRC that it did not have money to sponsor the trip.
“Now, I can confirm that the trip is happening, we are living on Friday to compete in the AUSC championship in Botswana and this is made possible by the LNOC.
“The LSRC had already told us that it did not receive its subvention from the sports ministry which meant there was no money,” Mathibeli said.
The association had already assembled a team and started preparing the players for the trip for over a month and Mathibeli said if the LNOC had not assisted them financially; it would have been disappointing to the players.
“It would have indeed been sad and disappointing for the players who have been training for a long time only to be told in the last minute that the trip is cancelled. However, we are grateful we get a chance to go represent our country and we are sure to make Basotho proud,” she said.
She added that the trip’s budget was around M50 000 for transport, accommodation, food, attire and playing equipment, but with the assistance from LNOC some things will not be included.
“We are not getting allowances but everything is taken care of and that is all we are grateful for and the transport will be provided by the LSRC,” she said.
The Lesotho team is comprised of eight players led by the top-ranked Khethang Mothibi (40 points) and second ranked Themba Talane (34 points) while the other male players are Harekete Mapeshoane and Likhetho Mothibi.
The ladies’ contingent is led by Mathibeli and also comprises Nthabeleng Mokeki, Reaoboka Bofelo and Reitumetse Maome.
The team’s coach is Aupa Rasmeni.