Challenge Trophy in Lusaka, Zambia. The games kick-started on the 10th of June and were set to run until 16th June. Lesotho is represented by two women national teams; under-20 and 17.
Talking to Informative Sport from Zambia, Team Lesotho Head of Delegation, Tsotang Pela mentioned that even though Lesotho was humiliated in the first game, the ladies
played their level best and he hopes they will get better as the games progress. According to Pela, the players are trying really hard, given that they never had enough time to
prepare the team due to financial constraints. He said the players met with their coaches for the first time on the day of departure to Zambia. Pela revealed that this has
been a problem for the past two years wherein they failed to get the teams ready for the competitions. “We used to go as far as the semifinals except for the past two years due to the funding crisis,” he
mentioned. Initially the games were set for Johannesburg, South Africa, starting from 7 to 13 May this year but the venue and dates were changed due to the recent South Africa general elections.
Prior their departure, Lesotho Handball Association (LHA) disclosed that they were not able to get any financial assistance from Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission as the commission has
also declared its financial struggle. They said they went to as far as the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation but their attempts were in vain.
IHF meet the countries half way with transport and accommodation, so they said they were struggling to secure funds for medication and food. Pela explained that they had to borrow money
as LHA earlier stated that they could not afford to miss the games. “We will pay that money when we get our annual subvention from LSRC. We can’t afford to miss this games
because we can be penalized for that,” said Pela. “One of the possible punishment can be for the country to be suspended for a certain period,” said LHA Public Relations Officer Teboho Maseko.
One of the coaches ‘Nyalleng Mdandalaza also reiterated, the preparations were poor but pledged to assist the team achieve great results with her experience.
She further indicated that it is true some of their targets as coaches will not be fulfilled under the current situation. “But as a coach you can’t give up,” she added.
According Mdandalaza all of their players did not participate in any competitions this year except for those who participated in the recent Lesotho Institutions Sports Association (Lisa) Zonal Ball Games.
Competing countries are; Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, Botswana, eSwatini and Madagascar. In the under 20 category, Lesotho is
in Group A with Mozambique and South Africa while in the youth category Lesotho is battling it against Mozambique, South Africa and Seychelles in Group B.