MASERU – As African Union Sports Commission (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games Maseru 2020 culminated into a swift yet dramatic and acrobatic closure, John Hlotse Ramokotjo kept Lesotho flag flying high amongst his colleagues who had the same force to ensure that Taekwnodo games attain international recognition.
Taekwondo tourney was an accomplishment as all participants gave their all and the referees ensured the game was free and fair, and according to the worldwide rules and standards. Injustice and partiality were cleared on their paths.
Ramokotjo was part of a team of referees and sport officials that successfully sailed a ship to its destination in AUSC Region 5 Youth Games. The man who started playing Taekwondo in 1988 has made it as a National University of Lesotho Taekwondo Coach and a Local referee.
As he comes a long way in this sport, his remarkable experience did not fail him as he gave an outstanding performance as a referee in a tournament of its kind, which hosted five countries in the Mountain Kingdom – South Africa and Botswana included.
However Basotho needs to be more equipped in the future as they lacked equipment like Protection Scoring System (PSS) and had to borrow it from Eswatini.
Historically Lesotho was ranking high in Africa and the world in general with Taekwondo but due to lack of tournaments the standard is no longer the same.
“Regardless of the challenges that were evident in the games, Basotho displayed exotic performances. The exhibition was one of the international standards,” Ramokotjo indicated.
He worked as a corner judge and a centre referee during the games of the tournament.
A referee is the person of authority in Taekwondo who is responsible for presiding over the match from a neutral point of view and making decisions that enforce the rules of the sport.
The referee is also in charge of stopping a fight when a fighter is helpless or cannot adequately match his opponent. He or she can also stop a fight to avoid further injuries to the fighters during a match.
The referees declare winners and losers deduct points and do warnings. All the referees’ declarations are made after the results are confirmed.
Physically, Taekwondo develops strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and stamina.
The sparring is a full-contact event that takes place between two competitors in a space of 8 meters square. A win can occur by points and also if one competitor is unable to continue, the other competitor wins by knockout.