Connect with us


Olympic runner bags M200 000 sponsorship deal



MASERU – Lesotho Olympian Khoarahlane Seutloali has scored a M200 000 sponsorship from Storm Mountain Diamonds.
The deal was signed on Monday and it will take care of Seutloali’s preparations for July’s 2022 Commonwealth Games where Seutloali will be bidding to become Lesotho’s first athletics medallist at the championships since Thabiso Moqhali won the 1998 marathon in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Storm Mountain Diamonds owns Kao Mining in Butha-Buthe.

It will handle Seutloali’s transport, diet, accommodation, injury rehabilitation and any other expenses he may incur while he prepares for the Commonwealth Games set to take place in Birmingham, England from July 28 to August 8.
The deal is a breakthrough for Seutlaoli who has been one of Lesotho’s most consistent athletes over the last few years, culminating in his maiden appearance at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan last year.
“I don’t really have much to say, I am lucky to have received this sponsorship, and I will work hard in training in order to do well in competitions,” a delighted Seutloali said.

The cash injection is also a major boost as the 29-year-old aims to compete more regularly on the international stage. Last year he was one of only two Lesotho athletes to make it to the Olympic Games along with his wife, ‘Neheng Khatala.
The marathon power couple has enjoyed a good start to this year as well. Khatala has already won two races in South Africa and earlier this month scored a major deal of her own when the secured an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship from the International Olympic Committee to prepare for the 2024 Games in Paris, France.

“We travel a lot going to races and it is expensive, so this money will help towards paying for tickets, food, and all things we need,” Seutloali told thepost.
It will fuel his main goal of reaching another Olympic Games, Seutloali added. World Athletics is yet to announce what the 2024 Olympic qualifying standards will be but Seutloali said wants to be in top shape already.

“My main focus is to qualify for the Olympics, I am working on (qualifying). I may go to the Commonwealth Games, but I would like to come back and continue preparing for the (Olympic) qualifiers,” Seutloali said.
The Storm Mountain Diamonds sponsorship will allow him to compete in South Africa and prepare better than he otherwise would have. Getting to the Commonwealth Games and Olympics is one thing but being prepared is another ball-game altogether. Although people may think Olympians lead a glamourous life, that is not the case for many athletes.

In addition to their gruelling physical training, the costs of coaches, training, equipment, travelling add up quickly.
And, with no direct support from government, the costs for Lesotho’s athletes can be even more daunting.
“At the moment I am trying to qualify by running tracks, but I have the Cape Town marathon coming up which I will be taking part in and I will be running in other races between now and the time for the Commonwealth Games,” Seutloali said.

His sponsorship from Storm Mountain Diamonds came about after the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) approached the company last year asking it to help Seutloali and Khatala when they were preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.
Mohale Ralikariki, the chief executive officer of Storm Mountain Diamonds, said the company helped the duo until they left but it now wants to make an “investment” into their talent.
Ralikariki said the company was aiming to cover both athletes but because Khatala has since received an Olympic Scholarship, she is not part of this partnership.

Seutloali finished 67th in the men’s marathon at last year’s Olympics while Khatala finished 20th in the women’s race.
“They did well given their preparations at the time, and we realised they could have done even better if they had support on time,” Ralikariki said.
“When they came back a lot of companies came together to show support for them and we were part of that. I think the fact that so many companies showed support showed there is will from private companies to help in sports. It just depends what those leading the organisations are doing to prepare for that.”

Ralikariki said this M200 000 deal is just the beginning and they will see where it takes them. Storm Mountain Diamonds aims to help Seutloali begin his preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympics right away.
“We spoke with them. We believe what we are doing is an investment, the same way we do in the mines to give us returns. We invest in Seutloali and the only returns he has to give this country is to perform well, that’s all we are expecting,” Ralikariki said.
“If he goes to bed wondering what he is going to eat, how do we expect him to perform well?” he added.
“It’s an investment. We believe this will help unleash his potential, (and) nourish and nurture his talent because he’s got talent.”

Continue Reading


Rabale eyes Champions League glory



Lesotho women’s team captain Boitumelo Rabale has her eyes on winning her second CAF Women’s Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns as the tournament gets underway this weekend.
The third edition of the prestigious women’s club football is scheduled for Ivory Coast from November 5-19, where eight clubs will battle it out to be crowned Queens of the continent.

“Queen”, as the Lesotho star is commonly known, was part of the Sundowns squad that was crowned champions of the inaugural edition of the tournament held in Egypt two years ago, becoming the first player from the Mountain Kingdom to taste Champions League success.
She has become one of the key players in Jerry Tshabalala’s squad having walked away with the Hollywoodbets Player of the Season in the previous campaign and currently leads the goal-scoring charts with 21 goals.

“It was exciting to win the CAF Women’s Champions League with Sundowns two years ago and in the process becoming the first player from Lesotho to do so,” Rabale said.

“I felt very lucky and honoured to make history. It gave me confidence to continue working hard and strive for more success with the club”
Sundowns head to the tournament as regional champions after clinching the COSAFA qualifiers to qualify for the continental showpiece, where they will kickstart their campaign against Tanzania’s JKT Queens on Sunday.

Rabale admitted that memories of losing the last final to AS FAR still haunts them, but they head to Ivory Coast a better team than in the last tournament.

“We learnt the hard way when we lost in the final to AS FAR and we come back a better team having rectified our mistakes.

“It’s our dream to conquer the continent again and I have no doubt that we have what it takes to get our second star in Ivory Coast.

“It will be very good to add the second CAF Champions League medal to my trophy cabinet,” she said.

The 27-year-old has been prolific for Sundowns this campaign having scored nine goals in her last five matches to take her tally for this campaign to 21 goals.
Sundowns are in Group A alongside tournament hosts, Athletico Abidjan, Sporting Casablanca of Morocco, as well as Tanzania’s JKT Queen.

Since joining Sundowns in 2021, Rabale has won the Hollywoodbets Super League twice, the COSAFA Zonal qualifiers twice as well as the CAF Women’s Champions League and is the reigning Hollywoodbets Player of the season.

Tlalane Phahla

Continue Reading


Red Skins fail to raise funds for championship



Lesotho volleyball giants Red Skins have failed to raise funds for the 2023 Zone 6 Senior Indoor Volleyball Club Championship they are set to host in December.

Red Skins will host the competition together with four other local volleyball clubs – Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), Lesotho Mounted Police Station (LMPS) and Rivers – and the tournament is expected to start on December 7 and end 10 days later.

Without any funds or sponsors coming in, Red Skins will have to foot the bill from their pockets for the tournament which will see teams from 10 countries converge on Maseru.

Among the participating nations, Botswana is expected to bring the biggest contingent with 12 teams, with Zambia following closely behind with nine teams while Zimbabwe is set to be represented by six teams.

Two weeks ago, Red Skins participated in the Elite Cup in Gauteng, South Africa, which was hosted by Aqua Darshan Volleyball.
Red Skins hoped to win the tournament and return home with a hefty jackpot but they only collected M5 000 which was won by the men’s team.

A gala dinner that Red Skins hosted last weekend also failed to generate income due to low attendance and speaking to thepost on Tuesday, the club’s vice-captain, Moleboheng Mofolo, said they will have to push on with what they have to host the tournament.
Mofolo said they no longer have time to come up with other means to raise funds.

“Tournaments will require us to find sponsorships and we do not have time now, we have to focus and train well,” Mofolo said.

“Our coach already told us to camp from this week but rain is our biggest challenge because we cannot continue with the training,” she added.

Mofolo said Red Skins are fortunate that participating teams are going to take care of their accommodation and catering. She said if Red Skins had to provide those services, they would not have been able to manage.

She pleaded with individuals, organisations and companies to help the team, whether it is by offering accommodation, food, or whatever little they may have.

Tlalane Phahla

Continue Reading


Giants avoid each other in Top 4 clash



Women Super League (WSL) giants Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Ladies and Kick4Life Ladies have avoided each other in the WSL Top 4 knockout competition.
The two-day showpiece takes centre stage this weekend at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena and it will see last season’s top four finishers in the league – LDF, Kick4Life, Lijabatho and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Ladies – go head-to-head for bragging rights.

The draw for the competition took place last Friday and the semi-finals will see LDF go up against Lijabatho while Kick4Life will take on LMPS Ladies.
Both semi-finals will be played on Saturday with the tournament culminating the following day.

Sunday’s proceedings will kick-off with a third-place playoff game to determine who walks away with the bronze medals before the final later in the day.
All four games over the two days will be streamed on the FIFA+ website and the WSL Top 4 will usher in a new sponsor this year.

In the past, the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) fully bankrolled the competition, however, Computer Business Solutions (CBS) has come on board with a sponsorship for the first time.

The competition’s prize monies have not been revealed because they are still being finalised, but, speaking at last Friday’s draw, LEFA’s associations secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said the relationship with CBS is one that sport should engage in.
Mohapi added his hopes that the relationship will be a long-term one.

“While others are busy at their thing, we should really grow ours so that when their distraction finally ends, they find us as united as we can be as the football community,” Mohapi said.
“(We should be) united by the efforts and inputs that emanate from the business community, especially when it is a truly Lesotho business entity because other (foreign entities) are here to take money,” he said.

Addressing CBS as the tournament’s sponsor, Mohapi said: “We are thankful as LEFA for your initiative; (we) hope you will be in this marriage quite long. We know we are just testing the waters but we have a lot that can entice you to stay longer, not only my command but the instruments that we have.”

Mohapi said LEFA’s dream is that in two years’ time all league matches will be streaming on the FIFA+ platform which was launched last April by football’s world governing body to increase exposure of men and women’s football around the globe.

Currently, only three grounds in the country have the structures for broadcasting; Bambatha as well as the grounds at LDF and Lesotho Correctional Service grounds, and all are in Maseru.
LEFA plans to add more grounds to the list with the DIFA facilities in Maputsoe and Mohale’s Hoek set to be the first to follow suit.

“All our women’s competitions, cup competitions and (Vodacom) Premier League matches that will be played in those stadia that have our infrastructure – we will be able to stream those games internationally,” Mohapi said.

“We have extended our footprint,” he added.

“We are now doing LDF – we have already put up the structure – then we are moving to Maputsoe and, hopefully, Mohale’s Hoek. It is our desire that in two years’ time we will hopefully cover all the matches and put them on the FIFA+ streaming platform.”

WSL Top 4 fixtures:
Saturday (Bambatha)
Lijabatho Ladies vs. LDF Ladies
LMPS Ladies vs. Kick4Life Ladies

Tlalane Phahla

Continue Reading