The Assistant Minister of Education and Training Honorable Mothepu Mahapa showed his gratitude to Coca-Cola with the COPA Coca-Cola competition sponsorship.
Honorable Mahapa said this in the press conference held at Bambhatha Tsita Sports Arena on August 30, 2018.
Games kick off from Friday, August 31 to Sunday September 2 at Setsoto stadium in Maseru, Lesotho.
Mr Mahapa indicated that he won this competition in 2013 while he was in Masitise High school.
He thanked all teachers who manifested their responsibility by allowing this endevour to be a success.
The assistant minister said even if educational sector has got some challenges, but nevertheless teachers worked hard to achieve their goal.
He said sports contribute tremendously in life generally. He asked teacher to work together for the development of the youth in the country through sports.
He made an example of 22-year-old Tumelo ‘Makhopo’ Khutlang a former Lioli warrior who is now playing for South African team Black Leopard in the ABSA Premier League.
Mr Mahapa cautioned youth to avoid drugs abuse.
The high schools association (LISA) secretary Mr Posholi Posholi said COPA CoCa-cola games started in America and expanded to Africa, that’s how Lesotho became part and parcel of the system.
He stressed that COPA accessed players with high performance centers opportunities. They have been to Pretoria in South Africa and America.
Posholi showed that teachers thought the competition would not proceed due to educational sector challenges in the country. But they peacefully met with the teachers union and principal association.
As a result they (Union, principals association and organizers) reached consensus that games should continue for the benefit of learners.
Teams comprise of 12 zones which would be divided into four groups of three teams each. The first teams in the groups will advance to the semi finals. Then finals would be on Sunday.
The sponsorship specialist Mr Nhlanhla Nyathi appreciated the effort shown by the organizers. He said the coaches and teachers have got potential to improve.
“We will continue supporting Africa”, said Nyathi.
He said next year he wants to see females included in the competition.
LISA President and Lesotho Sports and Recreation Association Deputy President Mr Caswell Moru said their aim is to identify and nurture talent in Lesotho. He said boys would be pleased to see themselves playing at Setsoto stadium.
“Coca-Cola afforded opportunity to bring players as far as from Mokhotlong.
Makhopo started from this level while he was at St James high school”, said the President.
He said teachers should make sure that learners are afforded with education and sports at the same time.
“The sports market is opened it is not full and sports contribute positively to the players”, added Moru.
He appealed for the COPA Coca-Cola budget to be reviewed.
He concluded by saying that it is his wish that they produce at least one player from each zone to advance to the next level.