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Salone sports jamboree gets underway

February 16, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr. 

The National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone’s (NOC-SL) maiden edition of ‘Sports Jamboree’ kicked-off on Monday at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown with over 12 sporting disciplines in attendance.

The six days sporting fête, which it is part of NOC-SL’s post-Ebola sports recovery, started with a band procession which was later followed by several statements and exhibition matches in football, ruby seven and table tennis.

In his address, president of the NOC-SL, Dr. Patrick Coker, said they are pleased to organise such activities especially as the country is slowly recovering from the Ebola scourge, which he said negatively impacted on sports in the country.

Dr. Coker said that was why they themed the jamboree as ‘Ebola killed a lot of people, not sports’.

He paid tribute to the executive of the African National Olympic Committee Association (ANOCA) for their financial support, and Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and his executive.

He said: “This opportunity was given to us by the IOC president and his executive. ANOCA also gave us small amount of money.”

Deputy Director of Sports, Michael Shamsu Mustapha, before officially declaring the event open, on behalf of the Sports Minister, said all must use sports as a development tool as it has the power to unify people for development.

The jamboree will continue today Tuesday with athletes from handball, judo, volleyball and lawn tennis displaying their talents, while fencers and weightlifters will take the center stage on Wednesday.

The tournament will also include taekwondo, basketball and boxing on Thursday, while the swimmers will have to battle things out in the pool on Friday. Squash players will be locking horns at the Wilberforce squash court the same day.

The jamboree will climax on Saturday with an able and disabled athletics events followed by a cycling race.

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