June 13, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr.
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Sports, Ahmed Khanou, has highlighted some of the aims and objective of the upcoming National Sports Development Conference, which is slated for 28th – 30th July, 2016 on the theme ‘Repositioning Sports for Sustainable Development’.
According to the Sports Minister, the first step towards creating an enabling environment for sports development in the country is to organise such a conference which will allow everybody’s input, ideas or suggestion for a total growth within sports.
Khanou said the main aim of the conference was to promote an integrated approach to sports development in Sierra Leone, focused on institutional reforms, infrastructure development and strategic planning and partnerships, among others.
“This will also help us evaluate progress made and gaps in the implementation of the National Sports Policy, the anti-doping framework and the National Sports Council Act from a development perspective.
“Also, it is aim at developing mandatory sports governance policies, processes and strategies for sporting associations, organisations and individuals. Also exchanging information on sports education and training programmes that will empower adults, youths, children, women and [the] disabled,” he explained.
The experienced sports administrator also noted that other goals of the conference are a platform to create awareness and promote sports as an industry in the country, adding that it would also give opportunity to meet peers and discuss current challenges and opportunities in regards to the development of sports.
According to Khanou, despite the opportunities that provide for the development, the sports sector is yet to maximise its full potential due to constraints which are not limited to institutional challenges, lack of resources and lack of policy guiding model.
“But having such a conference, a lot is there to be achieved and the policy recommendations resulting from the conference will focus on developing a roadmap to sports development, talent attraction and retention, and creating a sustainable sporting industry in Sierra Leone,” Khanou said as he asked all to start making their input towards the conference.