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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Finalists revealed for 2018 LASA awards

Namakoe Nkhasi is line for Lesotho's top sports award...

The finalists for next month’s second annual Lesotho Annual Sports Awards (LASA) have been announced and the main honour – the Sports Star of the Year – will be contested by athletics stars with runners Namakoe Nkhasi, Jobo Khatoane, Nelson Khereng, ‘Neheng Khatala, Ntebaleng Letsela and Lineo Chaka in contention for the accolade.

The national under-20 football team, meanwhile, is also in line for a prize having been nominated for the team of the year award after their fine performance at the 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships in Zambia last December where they finished second.

The Makoanyane XI’s main competition for the award are national volleyball champions Redksins who qualified for this year’s African Volleyball Championship after finishing third at December’s African Zone 6 Club Championships in Zimbabwe.

The LASA awards were introduced by the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) last year to spark the local sports scene.

They are the first awards of their kind and are voted by the public.

The preliminary voting to decide the final nominees closed on January 19.

With the finalists now decided, the SMS polling process will reopen until March 9 with votes updates every Tuesday.

“The awards are intended to recognise, celebrate and honour individuals, teams, schools and national federations that have excelled both on and off the field from January 2017 to December 2017,” said LASA coordinator ‘Malitsietsi Zwakala.

All LASA winners will represent Lesotho at the Regional Annual Sport Awards (RASA) later in the year which reward sports achievers from the ten member nations of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 – Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The LASA awards also have prizes for other contributors such as the administrator, volunteer and journalist of the year.

The ceremony will be held on March 17 at the larger Manthabiseng Convention Centre after being staged at AVANI Maseru last year. Tickets range from M300 to M350 and will be sold until the end of February.

In 2017 the Sports Star of the Year was won by Lesotho and Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies football captain Boitumelo Rabale.

This year the favourite for the award is distance specialist Namakoe Nkhasi who etched his name into history last April when he set a new half-marathon record at the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa.

Nkhasi, who raced at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, ran a brilliant time of one hour, three minutes and 35 seconds (01:03:15) to defend the 21 kilometres title he also won in 2016.

Also in contention for the accolade is the National Cross Country champion, Khatoane, and rising women’s star, Khatala, who finished third at the South African Half-Marathon in Port Elizabeth in June and the Free State OR Tambo Marathon in October.

The Makoanyane XI are in line for team of the year award...
LASA Nominees:
Junior female sportsperson of the year:
Manqabang Tsibela (athletics)
Reitumetse Taioe (chess)
Malillo Phera (chess)

Junior male sportsperson of the year:
Tšeliso Masoenyane (taekwondo)
Koneshe Mojela (athletic)
Teboho Lelimo (chess)

Sportswoman of the year:
‘Neheng Khatala (athletics)
Ntebaleng Letsela (athletics)
Lineo Chaka (athletics)

Sportsman of the year:
Namakoe Nkhasi (athletics)
Jobo Khatoane (athletics)
Nelson Khereng (athletic)

Newcomer of the year:
Molatoli Leshota (athletics)
Khabo Suiching (taekwondo)
Koneshe Mojela (athletics)

Administrator of the year:
Moses Kopo (boxing)
Nomazondo Seleteng (school sports)
Mokhosi Mohapi (football)

Volunteer of the year:
Retšelisitsoe Goodman (community sports)
Pule Rantseli (athletics, equestrian)
Kamoho Ramontsoe (school sport)

National Federation of the year:
Lesotho Boxing Association - LeBA
Lesotho Primary Schools Sports Association - LePSSA
Chess Federation of Lesotho - CFL

Sports Team of the year:
Red Skins Volleyball Club (volleyball)
Makoanyane XI Football Team (football)
Leqele High School Netball Team (netball)

Coach of the year:
Tšepo Raletooane (volleyball)
Teboho Sello (athletics)
Mabuthile Lebopo (athletics)

Umpire/Referee of the year:
Thabiso Snyman (boxing)
Chakatsa Lephole (netball)
Mamakebe Moshoeshoe (netball)

Journalist of the year:
Nthako Majoro (print sport reporter)
Chalale Mokhethi (radio sport presenter)
Moorosi Tsiane (print sport reporter)
Tšebeletso John Tumahole (print sport photographer)
Thabelo Monamane (print sport photographer)

Sports Show/Column of the year:
Public Eye (sports column-print)
Moafrika F.M. (sports show-radio)
Sunday Express (sports column-print)
Lesotho Times (print)

Sport legacy awards:
Seephephe ‘Mochini’ Matete (football)
Motlatsi Ncholu (radio sport commentator)
Rantsubise Matete (print sport reporter)

Sports Star of the year;
‘Neheng Khatala (athletics)
Ntebaleng Letsela (athletics)
Lineo Chaka (athletics)
Namakoe Nkhasi (athletics)
Jobo Khatoane (athletics)
Nelson Khereng (athletics)

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