MASERU – A team tasked with resuscitating the sport of tennis in the country as well as remodeling its administration in the country will soon complete its given mandate.
The Lesotho Lawn Tennis Association’s (LLTA) governing rules and regulations is being given a facelift following years of depraved conduct within the fraternity. Executive committee members have for time immemorial fought over matters of principle.
The latest scandal that hit the association was a squabble over the release of funds for players picked to represent the country on international competitions.
The row paralyzed the entire fraternity, leading to fallout with the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) that eventually suspended the LLTA executive committee.
According to a member of the LLTA’s suspended executive members, Kholu Tsumane, the fiasco prompted a serious reform drive for local tennis; as well as drafting of the association’s first ever constitution. The intention, Tsumane revealed, was to do away with all unnecessary debacles going forward.
“You may recall that we have in the process of formulation of the sport’s constitution, we have finished it,” said Tsumane in an interview with Public Eye on Monday.
“We have also completed guidelines on how clubs should be established; we have since sent the procedures to the clubs through email because of the COVID-19. We seek for them to make their input and comment on the guidelines, the deadline for submission of such is March 31,” she said.
Tsumane continued that: “We will then incorporate all feedback into the final document which will be presented before a special general meeting for adoption; the constitution is also planned to be presented and adopted at the same meeting.”
After the special meeting the organisation will then be able to call an elective conference.
She was elated that, for the first time, an LLTA executive committee will not be elected by individual members without binding legal guidelines – as stipulated in the draft.
“The constitution which we have just done says we shall not go for elections on individual membership, but rather as clubs,” she continued.
The LLTA last annual general meeting was held in 2016, and Tsumane said it was at the same meeting where it was agreed that the association needs a constitution.
“Our last AGM decided that a constitution must be drafted, though it has taken us quite some time to come up with this fine document,” she added.
Tsumane previously officials who contested for non-members who even had no interest in tennis just days before an elective conference in order to secure votes.
“Somebody with deep pockets would pay subscription fees for hordes of Fokothi (Lerotholi Polytechnic) students, and because there were many of them they would beat all challengers. They are the ones who elected committees for us.”
Tsumane, who said there were enough tennis courts in the country for tennis people who like to establish clubs as the constitution requires, further indicated that they also expect emerging tennis clubs to have constitutions.
“As we speak there are several tennis courts across the country. Here in Maseru we have tennis courts at the Lehakoe Recreational Centre, Lesotho High School and also at Maseru Avani – courts which are currently not being used and from where clubs can be established,” she said. Tsumane said there are other tennis courts in Mafeteng, Teyateyaneg in Berea, Mahole’s Hoek and Butha-Buthe.