Sevens fever hits Lesotho
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Lesotho will play host to their very first international Sevens tournament happening on September 23 and 24.
Teams that will be in action at the Maseru Stadium includes the South Africa Academy, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Mauritius, South Africa All Stars and Swaziland.
The tournament will see Lesotho make their international Sevens debut. Hopefully, this will not be the last one for the small country, especially with the backing of Bloem Rugby Academy.
According to the Sports Promoter Willem Strauss, Bloem Rugby Academy will start a working relationship with the Lesotho Rugby Union thanks to the International Sevens Tournament. Academy coach Hendrik Ras will be conducting coaching clinics for Lesotho's national 15-side and sevens side.
"With the tournament taking place two weeks before the Africa Sevens Championship in Kampala, which acts as a qualifier for the Sevens World Cup in the USA next year, this is ideal preparation for the participating African teams," Strauss said.
According to Lesotho Honourable Minister of Sport, Kabelo Mafura: "We are very excited to launch the first international rugby sevens tournament in Lesotho," Mafura said.
"Rugby is a growing sport in Lesotho and the tournament will go a long way in creating awareness and exposure for the sport. With rugby sevens now part of the Olympic program, this is a fantastic opportunity for the Lesotho sevens team to test their skills against some of the best teams on our continent.
"The tournament will also be a great economic injection to our economy. I would like to welcome all the participating national teams, as well as club and school sides that will be in action over the weekend September 23," he added.
The chairperson of International Sevens tournament LOC Kananelo Mokhachane said: "Since its inception, FLR has managed to introduce rugby in six districts out of the ten we have in Lesotho. We also have several male and female senior teams that participate in the domestic league.
"That being said, we are very confident that this tournament will foster the pursuit of excellence in the sport, thus advancing the work already done by FLR development programs. Moreover, as seen from the slogan we have adopted for this tournament, "Re 'moho", we are very much excited about the other direct and induced benefits coupled to this tournament.
"This will certainly boost Lesotho as a whole and we can only thank Willem Strauss for finding us fit to host a tournament of this magnitude," she added.