By: Mpho Shelile

Maseru – In Celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Basotho Nation, six prominent schools recently converged for the then highly anticipated Bicentenary Sports Debate Grand Finale.

Hosted by the National Olympic Committee, this prestigious event unfolded at the Manthabiseng Convention Center—a fitting venue for celebrating Lesotho’s rich sporting heritage.

The grand finale marks the culmination of a series of rigorous and intellectually stimulating debates, showcasing two centuries of sporting excellence and tradition. With eloquence and passion, students from participating schools engage in spirited discussions, reflecting on the historical significance of sports in Lesotho.

The event provides a unique platform for young minds to delve into topics related to sports, culture, and national identity. As competitors eloquently present their arguments, they not only celebrated the past but also laid the groundwork for a future where critical thinking and informed discourse continue to shape the Basotho sporting landscape.

The central motion for the debate was thought-provoking: “This house believes that the Ministry of Education is doing enough to implement both Olympic and Basotho values in schools.”

Teboho Rantsobe, Chief Adjudicator of the Bicentenary Sports Debate Grand Finale, in his address to the audience as six schools—representing Quthing, Botha-Bothe, and Maseru—converged for a lively and intellectually stimulating exchange.

Passionate arguments and diverse perspectives fill the Manthabiseng Convention Center, where students engage in spirited discourse. Their commitment to the values inherent in both educational and sporting cultures is palpable. Each argument and counterargument reflects the deep knowledge and fervor these young minds have for the topic.

The Lesotho National Olympic Committee, as the event organizer, reaffirms its dedication to nurturing a culture of sports and intellectual growth among the youth.

The buzz of energy and excitement in the convention center underscores the significance of this celebration, where Basotho traditions and Olympic ideals intersect.

Pitso Letsatsi, representing Mapetla High School, eloquently expresses his pride in the students who participated in the Bicentenary Sports Debate Grand Finale. Their journey to this stage is a testament to their dedication and the spirit of healthy competition that permeates the event.

“Beyond mere debating skills, the grand finale serves as a tribute to the enduring legacy of sportsmanship and competitive spirit within the Basotho Nation all thanks to the LNOC,” says Letsatsi.

Furthermore, Pitso states that the students’ active participation and the quality of their arguments underscores the vital role of sports in fostering unity, discipline, and excellence among Lesotho’s youth.

As the event reaches its conclusion, Letsatsi observes that the grand finale successfully achieved its purpose.

It celebrates the rich sporting heritage of the Basotho Nation while inspiring the next generation to carry forward this proud tradition. The debates not only commemorate the past but also look ahead to a future where sports continue to shape the nation’s development.

Mpho Makonyane, a learner from Quthing, captures the essence of the grand finale stating that this debate is more than a mere competition.

It stands as a celebration of the Basotho Nation’s remarkable 200-year journey, a testament to the unifying power of sports, and a beacon of hope for the bright future awaiting Lesotho’s youth.

After intense deliberations, a victor emerges, praised for their balanced arguments and eloquence. They proudly receive the prestigious Bicentenary Debate Trophy, along with certificates recognizing the efforts of all debaters and artists involved.

As the bicentenary celebrations draw to a close, this debate grand finale shines as a highlight, seamlessly weaving together sports, education, and culture. The participating schools and their students have set a high standard for future events, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and camaraderie.

The Bicentenary Sports Debate Grand Finale transcends mere words; it celebrates the intellectual and cultural vigor of Lesotho’s youth.

While opinions vary on whether the Ministry of Education adequately implements both Olympic and Basotho values in schools, the debate underscores the importance of ongoing dialogue, assessment, and educational improvement.

This event reaffirms the vital role that sports and cultural values play in shaping well-rounded, principled, and active citizens.