February 26, 2018 By Sahr Morris Jnr
Minister of Sports, Ahmed Khanou, has encouraged and urged Sierra Leonean athletes that will compete in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia- to put up an impressive performance and ensure they get passed the first and second rounds of their respective events.
Sierra Leone is still searching for its first Commonwealth Games medal in Australia and the Minister has not ruled out any disappointment in achieving such.
“As a government, we want you to fight harder and we will encourage you all to break the first rounds jinx of competition like we saw our representatives did at the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil,” Khanou said.
The Minister also commissioned the multi-purpose volleyball, lawn tennis and basketball court at the Siaka Steven stadium over the weekend and described the courts as a venue to produce more imaginary talents under the three sporting disciplines.
He stated that shutting down the complex for renovation was a huge task because it was the only available standard venue for basketball, lawn tennis and volleyball, adding that shutting it down at a time when volleyball and basketball were preparing for inter club tournaments, was very difficult as it affected their training schedules and competitions.
But for development sake, they have to do that in other to provide an enabling environment and standard facilities for the athletes so that it will be able to improve on their performance and play without any fear of being injured.
He added that without the availability of standard facility, talent identification and the development of athletes would be hampered and that will by far hinder the progress of sport.
To upkeep the facility, a management team drawn from the three beneficiaries, volleyball, lawn tennis and basketball, has been set up to put in place a mechanism whereby the Ministry of sport and the stadium management will sit and map out a calendar that will simply identify who comes in and out of the courts at a specific time.
“We want to create an avenue where coaches or organisers will go through the due process to send in their application for the use of the facilities to the management committee, which will in turn give them an option to access it or not based on the significance of the event they wants to host at the venue,” the Minister of Sports further explained.
Khanou emphasised that such measures were put in place to purely control the facility, while maintaining it so that it would last longer.
Shortly after the commissioning of the complex, Public Relation officer of Western Area Basketball Association (WABA), Alex Kangasu, expressed delight for once again having the opportunity to use their court to host the inter club basketball championship slated to kick off on March 2 this year.