‘Funds will be found’

‘Funds will be found’

MASERU – The Minister of Sports Dr Mahali Phamotse has once again insisted that the government will secure funding for the infrastructure to be used for the upcoming 2020 African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games and the African Youth Games in 2022.

Both showpiece games will be held in Maseru, with the AUSC Youth Games set for this December and the African Youth Games slated for March 2022.
Phamotse was speaking yesterday at the ministry’s boardroom where she introduced visitors from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) who will help the ministry “prepare and host quality games”.

The guests are Dragomir Cioroslan, the USOPC’s director of international strategies and development, and Hill Carrow who is the chief executive officer of Sports Properties.
The two arrived in the country on Friday.

During their stay they held meetings with all the stakeholders and they will advise the local organising committee.
The duo has worked with different countries in organising sporting events and in 2014 they were in Botswana as the country prepared to host the 2018 AUSC Region 5 Youth Games.

With Lesotho hosting the AUSC showpiece for the first time, Phamotse said it is important the country has experienced experts by its side to give advice and recommendations.

Cioroslan and Carrow will also look at how the ministry can downsize its budget for the games without compromising the quality of the event.
Phamotse said the sports ministry is committed to delivering on promises made when it signed on to host the AUSC Youth Games back in 2017 and she said bringing the American duo to Lesotho shows that commitment.

“We are sure of delivering the games that we are anticipating. Remember that we have committed ourselves as the government through the ministry that we will work with the international community to deliver these games, not only in the deliverance but in preparation,” Phamotse said.

“That is why we are mobilising partnerships and alliances with people such as the visitors that we have here. We are more than excited. This visit shows that we are really committed,” she added.
“We are not asking the government to get into this assignment alone,” the minister said.

“We as the ministry are making sure we use expertise to interrogate our plans and to also look around us and find solutions to the problems that we are facing. We know that we are working on the issue of infrastructure and we are also working on the issue of improving and developing our already existing infrastructure. This is about preparation on the whole. They had chances to go around and also had a chance to meet people organising the games.”

Cioroslan said he is confident Lesotho can deliver the best games in Africa and he said this is an opportunity for local athletes to compete at a higher level and open doors for themselves.

Cioroslan and Carrow will be working with the ministry and organising committee remotely and will make another visit to Lesotho after three months to see how far preparations have progressed.
The American duo will not only work with the ministry for the AUSC Games but they will also be involved in preps for the African Youth Games in 2022.
“We have had dozens and hours of meetings and we have had an opportunity to discover the city of Maseru,” Cioroslan said.

“I believe that the two upcoming events will be no challenge for the energy and the passion (Lesotho has). We feel that you are very capable of delivering the best event of this nature. Your passion, desire and commitment will make that happen,” he added.

“These games bring an opportunity to watch your athletes perform in front of you, open doors for dreams to be pursued.”
“Sport can change lives and it can change communities, bringing 54 countries from Africa to discover your beauty and your cultural values,” Cioroslan said.

“I believe the organising committee, the team, the ministry and the entire nation will get behind these two games because they bring so much value to the country.”

Tlalane Phahla


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