May 11, 2017 By Sahr Morris Jnr
With barley weeks to go for Sierra Leone’s first National Sports development conference, the Minister of Sports, Ahmed Khanou, has cited several aims of the country’s National Sports policy.
The Sports policy, which will amongst other things, be presented to the over 250 delegates expected to attend the conference, was prepared due to the inactivity of the Sports Council and the absence of a policy.
According to the Sports Minister, sport and physical activity is rapidly gaining recognition all over the world as a simple, low cost and effective means of achieving human resource development goals.
“A Well-designed sports and play programmes are powerful tools for fostering individual development, positive values and life skills for the youths and young adults, strengthening education and improving health, wellbeing and social interaction,” he said.
He said avenues shall be created for every individual to participate in sports as leisure, recreational, rehabilitative or competitive activity, and that such participation should have the avenues like foundation sports which are informal play activities and Physical Education for schools designed to enrich the movement and experience of children.
“Another goal of the policy is mass sports which will provide an avenue for people of all age groups to live a health and active lifestyle.
“Also sports for excellence which will provide opportunities for those with great potentials to excel in national and international competitions. It does not only provide for economic development but can enhance our national and international image. Consequently, Government will concentrate resources into the development and promotion of sports disciplines, in which Sierra Leone have comparative advantage to excel at international competitions.
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“Capacity is also in consideration as the policy will also focus on the intellectual empowerment of sports technocrats, including athletes. The construction of sports academies, institutes, libraries, and information research centres will provide for the intellectual enhancement of our sportsmen and women. International academic exchange programmes for athletes, coaches, administrators and other technocrats will form a major aspect for professional capacity building. This will be intensively pursued by Government in collaboration with the private sector, as part of their corporate social responsibility. The NSC shall initiate an awards incentive programme to recognize the outstanding contributions of Sierra Leonean athletes, volunteers and career personnel,” he said.