Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Friday, January 26, 2018

2018 rugby season to kick-off February 3

The Lesotho Rugby Championship will get underway on February 3 
After months of waiting, the 2018 rugby season will finally get underway on February 3 with the fourth edition of the Lesotho Rugby Championship.

Launched in 2015, the league has gone from strength to strength and will again see further growth this year with another team – the Lesotho Defence Force Liqhomane – joining the mix.

Liqhomane’s first appearance in the championship comes after they excelled during last November’s National Sevens League where they finished runners-up to Maseru Warriors.

With Liqhomane’s addition, the Lesotho Rugby Championship now has an all-time high number of seven teams.

This year’s contenders are reigning champions Maseru Warriors, 2016 champions Mabote Beavers, Swallows, Maseru Warriors, Giants Rugby, Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) ‘Lioalaoala’, the National University of Lesotho Spears and Liqhomane.

The woman’s league will also kick off on the same day. The competition will be contested by Lancers Jaguars, Lesia Wolves, ‘Mabathoana Unicorns, Mabote Beavers, Maseru Warriors, NUL Spears and Swallows Rugby Club.

The opening round of games will be held at a venue that is yet to be announced.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Lesotho Volleyball to hold first-ever league awards ceremony

For the first time ever, the Metropolitan LVA League awards will take place in February
Finally, Lesotho’s volleyball players will have something to look toward to with news the Lesotho Volleyball Association (LVA) will hold its first-ever league awards on February 24.

The awards will be for both men and women players in the Metropolitan LVA League and will be awarded for the 2017 season which ended last November.

According to LVA public relations officer Buller Phalatsi, the prizes that will be up for grabs are: the best setter, best attacker, best blocker, best defender, best receiver, most improved team, most valuable player and team of the year.

“An SMS line will be launched whereby the public will vote for their favourite stars and teams,” Phalatsi explained. “The awards will enhance our league’s competiveness in that they will encourage the teams to work hard to be the best at the end of each and every season.”

“The awards are most definitely going to encourage the teams to do better in the coming season in order for them to be the biggest winners (when the end of season awards are held),” he added.

Phalatsi said increased levels of competition in the local league would only help local teams when they compete internationally.

2017 Metropolitan LVA league champions Redskins, for example, are gearing up for the 2018 African Volleyball Championship after their third place finish at last month’s African Zone 6 Club Championships which were held in Zimbabwe.

It will be the first time Lesotho has a contestant at the continental tournament since 2011.

The 2018 African Volleyball Championship will be held in Cairo, Egypt from March 27 to April 5.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

LASA Awards to be “bigger and better” in 2018

The LASA awards will be bigger and better in 2018...
Last year the big winner was Lesotho women's captain Boitumelo Rabale
The Lesotho Annual Sports Awards (LASA) will be back for a second edition in March and organisers are promising a “bigger and better’ event.

The ceremony will be held on March 17 and, according to organisers, this year will see the awards held at a larger venue with more nominees than 2017’s inaugural event.

The awards are hosted by the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) and are held to motivate athletes and improve the levels of competition across the country’s various sporting codes.

The main change for 2018 is the moving of the awards show from AVANI Maseru to Manthabiseng Convention Centre, a move intended to accommodate more guests as Malitsietsi Zwakala – LSRC development coordinator and awards organising committee member – explained.

“We learnt a lot from our first event which was held in April last year,” she said.

“Expectations are very high for the next awards,” she added. “We are changing the venue from AVANI Maseru to the (Manthabiseng) convention centre because last time we ended up turning people away because the venue got full.”

Another upgrade from the organisers’ point of view is an increase in sponsors. The LSRC has so far secured sponsorships from MGC, Brand It and Lesotho Flour Mills.

Zwakala said the LSRC is still on the hunt for even more sponsors.

“Sponsorship is very important to us, and every company is welcome to lend a helping hand,” she said.

“This event is not included in our annual budget from the ministry so it solely depends on sponsorship. So, we need as many corporates as we can on board. MGC, Brand It and Lesotho Flour Mills have pledged to sponsor this event as they did in the previous one.”

The awards are also returning with a few new categories.

The returning categories from last year are:
·         the Junior Female and Male Sportsperson of the Year,
·         Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year,
·         Sportsman and Sportswoman with Disability,
·         Administrator of the Year,
·         Sports School of the Year,
·         Sports Team of the Year,
·         Coach of the Year,
·         Umpire or Referee of the Year,
·         Sports Journalist of the Year,
·         Sport Legacy of the Year,
and the most prestigious trophy – the Sports Star of the Year which last year was won by Lesotho and Bloemfontein Ladies captain Boitumelo Rabale.

The new prizes for 2018 are the newcomer, volunteer and national federation of the year.

Tickets for the LASA awards will range from M300 to M350 and will be sold until the end of February.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A-Division race to set to resume on January 20

The race to the Econet Premier League is about to get back underway...
The second round of the 2017/18 A-Division season will kick off this weekend, January 20, the league has confirmed.

The action will kick off on Saturday with both North and South stream fixtures with the opening round’s remaining fixtures continuing on Sunday.

The first division, of course, is divided into two sections of ten teams with the respective stream winners gaining promotion to the Econet Premier League at the end of the season.

Of the two streams the race in the south section is looking much clearer with Swallows in firm control of the league.

Swallows are top of the South Stream with 24 points from nine games. Maswai-swai have been in blistering form this season winning eight games and losing just once. Their displays have them in the driving seat to gain promotion to the Econet premiership with second-placed Manonyane a distant eight points adrift.

If Swallows can maintain their form until the end of the season they will seal a return to the top-flight for the first time since their relegation in 2011.

It will also erase last year’s pain when the Mazenod outfit were pipped to promotion by Majantja on the final day of the season.

That disappointment has seemingly spurred Swallows on. Immediately after that setback they won the 2016/17 season ending A-Division Top 8 cup – beating Lerotholi Polytechnic in the final last May – to end a decade-long a trophy drought. Maswai-swai have carried that momentum into the new season to dominate the A-Division’s South Stream.

In the North Stream the promotion race is much closer. The league leader is Ketane who have 18 points from games. Ketane have won five times, lost once and drawn three times in their nine games so far.

Ketane’s lead is perilous, however. Hot on their heels are Litšilo and Galaxy who each have 17 points.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Lesotho champions Redskins qualify for African Volleyball Championship

Redskins will represent Lesotho in Egypt...
Lesotho volleyball champions Redskins have qualified for the 2018 African Volleyball Championship which will be held in Egypt in March and April.

Redskins booked their place at the continental showpiece by claiming third place at the 2017 African Zone 6 Club Championships that were held in Zimbabwe last month. It will be Redskins and Lesotho’s first appearance at the continental volleyball games since 2011 when they were also held in Egypt.

Redskins will be looking forward to the trip after their strong performance at the Zone 6 Club Championships where they were unbeaten until the semi-finals when they went down to home favourites Support Unit.

Redskins, however, managed to bounce back to beat South African outfit Uni Jodi in the third-place play-off to claim bronze.

Redskins captain Moholo Lekomola congratulated and praised his team but said Lesotho needs to improve its development of volleyball in order to compete with other countries in the region.

“There is still a huge gap in terms of development, most teams in Lesotho do not have under age development teams and it is making local players lack basic volleyball skills and it is denying them an opportunity to grow in the sport,” Lekomola said.

The 2018 African Volleyball Championship which is set to be played at the Ahly Club hall is set to run from March 27 to April 5.

Qualified are required to confirm their final participation by March 5.

The defending African champions are Egypt’s Al Ahly of Egypt who claimed the last title in Tunisia.