MASERU – Two local youth in sports circles, Fako Masupha and Lisebo Molikoe, are representing Lesotho at the two-week ongoing virtual International Olympic Academy (IOA) Young Participants session which commenced on Monday, September 13 and runs until September 22.
The two-week annual session, traditionally held in June or July, was initially scheduled for Greece but had to be switched online due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. The 61st session will be held virtually and is designed as an introduction to Olympism and the Olympic Movement, with the IOA bringing together a large international group of young people who are primarily students, Olympic athletes, people active in sport and the ones teaching in their respective National Olympic Committees.
Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) Head of Programmes, Pulumo Nchakha, said participants will learn about Olympism. “The International Olympic Academy (IOA)’s intention is to teach people about the Olympic movement so that they know more about the history of the Olympic movement, Olympic Games and why these games are held,” he said.
Nchakha noted that the two-week session covers the culture component in which participants will be expected to showcase their cultural demonstration. “Our two participants will share their cultural experiences through sending their videos making lithoko, litolobonya or any Basotho cultural activities in their traditional attire at the beginning of the session to show the world how we celebrate our independence and how we celebrate when we are happy,” he said.
The session he showed is also inclusive of the art exhibition whereby participants will be expected to do some demonstrations like drawing a picture portraying excellence, respect or friendship as the three Olympic values. Masupha is LNOC’s Programmes Coordinator and holds a BA degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the National University of Lesotho (NUL). He is a former basketball coach, president and player and also a former handball, football and volleyball player.
Molikoe is a Lesotho Olympic Academy member and an Olympic Values Education Programmes Trainer who has been involved in multiple youth programmes. She is also a holder of Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from NUL and a former basketball player. She attended the first African Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) Train the Trainers course in 2018. The aim of the IOA is to educate, but more importantly, to motivate young people to use their experiences and knowledge gained from the session productively in promoting the Olympic ideals and educating others in their own countries.