MASERU — Redskins Volleyball Club left for Egypt on Tuesday with the intention of winning its first African Volleyball Championship title.
The 16-team tournament is scheduled to start tomorrow in Cairo and run from until May 1.
Addressing the media before departure, Redskins coach Tsepo Raletoane said his team’s intention was to qualify for the World Championships in Qatar.
“This is the last stage to qualify for the World Championships in September/ October in Qatar,” Raletoane said.
“The winning team at the African Volleyball Championship will qualify for the world tournament and we are hungry and determined to achieve this”.
Raletoane said they were ready to make history by winning the African championship despite their competitors’ advantageous heights.
“We know that it is not going to be easy where we are going. It is going to be difficult but we are going to fight hard to ensure that Lesotho’s flag is raised higher.”
Raletoane added: “We’ve got what it takes to win this tournament; the determination, right players and all the techniques to outplay our competitors despite their height.”
Redskins captain Moholo Lekomola said the team started its preparations for the African championship on a high note by winning the Mangaung Open Tournament earlier this year.
“We are therefore prepared and promise Basotho that we will fight hard to win the tournament on behalf of the nation,” he said.
Metropolitan Lesotho head of cooperatives Bonang Sonopo said his insurance company was happy to help teams going for international outings.
Metropolitan Lesotho has sponsored Redskins with an attire worth M30 000.
“We are very much proud to be always sponsoring teams whenever there is a need. Such teams are already heroes by representing the country,” Sonopo said.
“Lesotho was never known in sports internationally and it is with teams like this that people know us and respect us for who we are,” he said.
Redskins who are the reigning Zone VI champions are participating in the African Volleyball Championship for the second time.
They performed dismally and did not get past the group stage in their debut appearance in Durban, South Africa in 2006.
Redskins squad: Phetheho Ntlamelle, Realeboha Macheli, Malefane Wall, Motlalekhosi Letsie, Letuka Shelile, Rampesa Leabua, Serame Serame, Tsitso Marumo, Thabelo Potloane, Teboho Maolla, Makhabane Marumo, Moholo Lekomola (captain) and Bahlakoana Marie.
Officials: Teboho Kabi (team manager), Tsepo Raletoane (head coach) and Herrera Manuel (assistant coach).