Tsibela represents Lesotho at Rasa

Tsibela represents Lesotho at Rasa
Tsibela represents Lesotho at Rasa

Africa-Press – Lesotho. The African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 on Saturday evening hosted the Regional Annual Sports Awards (Rasa) at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, South of Johannesburg in South Africa.

This is the second edition of this newly introduced regional awards where Lesotho’s young and vibrant 1500m and 3000m princess, Manqabang Tsibela, set the record for being the country’s first ever athlete to make it to the top 3 finalists of the awards in the Junior Sportswoman of the Year category.

The 13 year-old Tsibela was contesting in this category with Namibia’s young karateka Mayvonne Swart and Zimbabwe’s junior lady golfer Danielle Marie Bekker.

The awards saw Swart, who became a Triple World Champion at the Japan Shotokan Karate Association (JSKA) Karate World Championship hosted at Namibia in July 2016, being honoured as the 2017 Rasa Junior Sportswoman of the Year.

Mayvonne also competed at the Shotokan Karate Swakopmund Open tournament in April 2016 where she took home three gold medals in the Under 14 individuals category, while also being awarded a gold medal in the team event.

The involvement of Tsibela in this year’s awards follows her good performance in AUSC Region 5 Under 20 games held in Angola at the end of last year. From those games she managed to bring home two gold medals in 3000m and 1500m respectively. Apart from that she was early this year crowned the Lesotho Annual Sports Awards (LASA) first Junior Female of the Year champion.

RASA is celebrating excellence and innovation by recognizing and rewarding and the region’s sportspersons for iconic and meritorious service in sports while LASA is celebrating excellence by recognizing, embracing and rewarding Basotho who are doing well in their respective sports disciplines.

Talking to Informative Sport the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) Development Manager, Mofihli Makoele said having Tsibela in these awards was a big achievement for the country as it indicates the talent Lesotho is having.

However, he pointed out that Lesotho has many athletes who could compete in many disciplines in such awards but the problem lies on the national sports federations/ association who are reluctant to nominate athletes whenever they are asked to.

“For example, it is not Tsibela only who outperformed at AUSC Region 5 games in Angola last year where Lesotho managed to collect a total of 13 medals but the association/federation failed to nominate those athletes to stand for the awards,” said Makoele.

In addition, he advised the associations and federations to always take these opportunities whenever they come. He also highlighted that being part of these highly profiled awards athletes get motivated and become confident by knowing that ‘nothing is impossible’.

“Tsibela is not yet qualifying for the Olympics but she is has started beating some of the Olympiads and by the time she reaches that level we are hoping for good outcomes,” concluded Makoele.

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