Lesotho re-launches  Badminton  association

Lesotho re-launches Badminton association

MASERU – The Badminton Association of Lesotho (BAL) was officially re-launched on Sunday at Sefika High School after almost a decade in the doldrums.
The association was first founded in 1999 under the recommendation of the Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) but collapsed in 2013.

What remained for the following seven years were only remnants of the former association and they operated around the country.
Badminton operated mostly at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and St. Boniface Club in Maputsoe and students of those schools represented Lesotho in the Africa Badminton Schools Championship in 2016 and again last year in Lusaka, Zambia where they brought home a bronze medal.

BAL president Dr. Moneoang Lesota, who is also former Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) vice president, said the association has been approved to register with BCA and be fully involved in its activities.
Lesota said she engaged with bodies regulating sports in the country such as the LRSC and Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) to make sure BAL and badminton in the country survives for years to come.
She said BAL wants to build a proper structures and policies for the association to stand on.

“We were (originally) authorised (in 1999) by the sports council under the Badminton Confederation of Africa as well as the Badminton World Federation (BWF). In 2013, the BCA made a request again that we should be effective and I worked hard to make sure badminton is alive again,” Lesota said.

“We were only able to implement our plans in 2018 when the LSRC fully recognised us. It was last year when we were approved by Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC). With the help of BWF, we were able to get five trainers who were trained in Zambia and again in 2019 here in Lesotho,” she said.

The Badminton World Federation also gave BAL funds to develop clubs at different schools and, so far, 20 schools are registered around Lesotho and a total of 200 teachers have been trained.
The association received 560 racquets, 160 dozens of shuttlecocks and 50 nets from the WFB as well.

The equipment will be distributed to all clubs registered with BAL.
“Now that we have started here today, we officially launch badminton in Lesotho so that it can be shown to the people, let them join the sport for it to grow and flourish,” Lesota said.
Several schools were present at Sunday’s launch and they will receive equipment as well.

However, to be recognised as members of BAL the schools will have to pay an annual subscription fee of M300.
The association said it is planning to work and build relationships with schools in other regions of Lesotho in order to reach a vast number of people in different districts around the country.

Mpinane Moshoeshoe


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