THE second edition of the annual Lesotho Annual Sport Awards (LASA) is set to be held on 17 March 2018 in a larger venue and with more nominations than this year.
This is according to Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) development officer, Malitsietsi Zwakala, who also said the awards had three sponsors so far.
The inaugural edition of the awards was held in April this year, with nominees selected on the basis of their performances in different fields from January to December 2016.
Apart from motivating athletes to keep working hard, the awards are also meant to improve the level of competitiveness in the various sporting codes.
Zwakala, who is also the awards ceremony coordinator, told this publication this week that they decided to change the venue of the ceremony from AVANI Maseru to Manthabiseng Convention Centre to accommodate more people.
“We have learnt a lot from our first event which was held in April this year, so expectations are very high for next year,” she said.
“We also changed the venue from AVANI Maseru to the convention centre because last time we ended up turning people away as the venue got full.”
Zwakala said the nominations process for the various sporting associations began early this month and would be closed on 12 January 2018. She indicated that the LSRC was urging sports associations to submit their nominations.
“The challenge in the first edition of the awards was that many associations did not nominate athletes because they probably had their doubts.
“But since the inaugural event was a success, many will nominate this time around. We are also trying to nudge them and showing them the importance of nominating.”
So far, the LSRC has secured the sponsorship of MGC, Brand It and Lesotho Flour Mills, with the commission still seeking more support from the corporate sector.
“Sponsorship is very important to us, and every company is welcome to lend a helping hand,” said Zwakala.
“This event is not included in our annual budget from the ministry so it solely depends on sponsorship. So, we need as many corporates as we can on board. MGC, Brand It and Lesotho Flour Mills have pledged to sponsor this event as they did in the previous one.”
Nominations will be made on the categories of Junior Female and Male Sportsperson of the Year, Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, Sportsman and Sportswoman with Disability, Administrator of the Year, Sports School of the Year, Sports Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Umpire or Referee of the Year, Sports Journalist of the Year, Sport Legacy of the Year and the most prestigious Sports Star of the Year.
The new categories are Newcomer of the Year, Volunteer and National Federation of the year.
Tickets for the ceremony will range from M300 to M350 until the end of February.