Africa-Press – Lesotho. Lesotho will not take part in this year’s Women African softball Pre-Qualifiers scheduled for 12-17 May in Pretoria, South Africa due to failure to form a national team for the games.
Lesotho also missed the African continent Zone South baseball Pre-Qualifiers played April 23rd – 26th in Johannesburg, South Africa. Talking to Informative Sport,
Lesotho Baseball and Softball Association (LBSA) Public Relations Officer Lisema Mapetla said Lesotho’s failure to show up for the games results from the
unavailability of active subscribed women baseball and softball teams in the country. The organization therefore had nowhere to source players. According to Mapetla the membership
activation issue had been one of the challenges LBSA has been working on in both men and women teams. He said most of the men clubs have womens club counterparts.
Therefore to resolve this in an economic manner, the club has come to a consensus that each club pays a joint subscription for both its men and women teams rather than
separately. He however admitted that this system is still not working for them. Mapetla further explained that the reluctance of teams to subscribe is due to the fact that most teams are financially
struggling while some is just lack of commitment to the sport. He added that Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) is also worried but cannot assist since there are no active
clubs. “Without subscribed clubs the association (LBSA) itself is not active,” he said. Earlier this year he said they had to convince LSRC to help send a male team to the African Championship Qualifiers
in Johannesburg although they had no team subscribed. On that issue he said LSBA had to try by all means to have a team there as that was one of the events through which World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC)
was going to determine active countries in the sport. He said they managed to convince WBSC that Lesotho is still active in the sport through that tournament, thus they will not be penalized for failing to attend
the women pre-qualifiers. However Mapetla indicated that this issue of unsubscribed teams and failing to honor tournaments poses a huge threat to the growth of
sport, but stated they still have an active school league of which they are willing to invest in. “We want to make sure that by the next qualifiers we
will have teams to compete. If we have to start afresh to have new teams we will do so,” he added. Seven National teams were invited to the Women African Pre-Qualifiers in Pretoria; Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria,
Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe and the host South Africa. The tournament qualifies two national teams to the Europe-Africa Softball Olympic Qualifier, to be played in Utrecht, Netherlands from July 23rd – 28th.