Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"I'm proud to put the Free State on the Map"

“I’m proud to put the FS on the map”

It is exciting times now with the World Cup just around the corner. FIFA is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the tournament is a success. One of their projects is the FIFA training sessions even for journalists. The Free State was represented at the last session by Pule Lechesa, who jets out again to Kenya next week for the second part of the training. Free State News’ Lebohang Masisi spoke to Lechesa

Your general comment on your first trip to Kenya?

It was a fine learning process. Seeing the world makes one more broad-minded and makes one to realize there are countless other languages and cultures out there! Football is indeed a universal, quite unifying sport.

We had journalists from different countries such as Zimbabwe (Toni Wellington) Zambia (Augustine Mukoka) Uganda (Norman Katende) Uganda (Denis Dibele) Tanzania (Mwani Mbani) Tanzania (Saleh Ally Saleh) Uganda (David Kbanga). What impressed me with these guys was that they were pulsating with the knowledge of European and African football.

Did any of them have some prior knowledge of the Free State?

Many people I spoke to there commented on the fact that they were very impressed with the Free State Stadium which they saw on satellite TV when Spain played at the last Confederations Cup which South Africa hosted. I answered all questions about our Province (Free State) easily over there. I am always proud to put the Free State on the map!

You had a supervisor over there?

We were trained by a veteran Sports Editor, Allan Kelly, who seemed to know his ropes beyond any shadow of doubts. He has a very impressive journalistic pedigree and I regard our group as lucky as he eagerly rubbed off his prowess over us.

Some critics will say that – with all the experience you have already on covering sports, what else can you learn from such very short training sessions?

There’s always a lot to learn. As sports writers we are all different but you can always assimilate other things that make you a better writer. It’s important to avoid complacency; have your work criticized by others and hopefully you improve in the process

Of course you write a lot on sports yourself. But your own style of writing – full of big words, adjectival; don’t you risk alienating many of your readers?

I prefer to believe that my readers are intelligent, and anyway they’ll appreciate learning sometimes from what I write! But I think my column is simple enough, from the reactions I get from readers.

Good luck with your trip

(Smiling broadly) Thanks