MASERU – The 2011 volleyball league season kicks off at the weekend with the league hoping to secure more funding for the game.
Volleyball has been on a consistently upward curve over the past two years and has become one of the shining lights on Lesotho’s sports scene.
With players finalising their preparations for another gruelling season, Lesotho Volleyball Association (LVA) public relations officer Clifford Molefe says the league is optimistic of an increase in sponsorship that would make the game more worthwhile.
Lesotho volleyball is sponsored by Metropolitan Insurance.
The insurance company last year backed the league to the tune of M30 000.
“Metropolitan is still our sponsor and they have said they are likely to increase their sponsorship to M50 000 this season,” Molefe told the Lesotho Times on Monday.
“The sponsor is happy with the way we report the finances. A sponsor wants you to report what you have done with the money. The problem is that (in Lesotho) we are lazy to write reports,” Molefe said.
Success on the field of play is also helping.
In December national champions Redskins claimed the regional Zone VI title in Botswana.
Molefe said he was hopeful Redskins would be able to compete in the African Volleyball Championships to be played in Morocco next month.
Redskins are however still struggling to secure funds for the trip.
“The win by Redskins in the Zone VI games shows that volleyball has improved. We are still in talks with the sports commission,” Molefe said.
Molefe also revealed that the end of the volleyball season will see the introduction of a Top Four tournament for the first time.
“We will look to find a sponsor for the tournament,” he said.
“It will be the third major tournament after the league and the Winter Open. We want to increase the exposure of the game and keep our players active in the build-up to the regional championships which are played at the end of the year.”
This season volleyball has introduced a premier league system with sides facing relegation and promotion at the end of the season.
In the first division champions Redskins will line-up against LDF, Green Spikes, Lerotholi, Rovers, Mahlaseli, TY Ribbons and ULCE.
The second division comprises Maseru LMPS, Butha-Buthe LMPS, Lesotho Agricultural College, Peka Stars and Mohale’s Hoek.
The two bottom sides in the top league will be relegated with two from the second tier going the other way.
The season is divided into four rounds ending in October.
The first division’s opening round will be played on Saturday and Sunday at the Lesotho Agricultural College and Lerotholi Polytechnic.
The second division will follow suit next weekend.