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President Dr Julius Maada Bio Engages National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone

State House, Freetown, Wednesday 26 June 2019 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has engaged members of the National Olympic Committee, NOC, during a courtesy call at State House in Freetown.

President of the NOC, Doctor Patrick Coker, said they were pleased to meet the President, saying that that was indicative of the importance he had placed on sports. He said the NOC had watched for the first one year how sports had been run in the country and was particularly delighted with the transformative efforts by the New Direction Government.

 “We are impressed with all the gains made by the Government, not only in sports but also in other areas like education, health and gender issues. We will do our utmost best to keep all the associations together and we will work with the Government through the Ministry of Sports to support its policies, especially those in sports. Our focus is to bring all the sporting disciplines together to be able to succeed,” he said.

Doctor Coker also disclosed that NOC was preparing for major tournaments that will include the All African Games and the Olympic Games, noting that the games would be an opportunity to showcase what Sierra Leone could offer as a nation. He also informed that the country had just returned from the first Beach Games in Cape Verde with an impressive performance, which showed that something was happening in the country in the area of sports.

In his response, President Bio thanked the NOC team for the visit and for providing him with further updates on the activities of the committee. He said his Government was serious about sports because of its commitment to human capital development and sport played a great role to the health of people.

He said he had taken the challenge of changing the narrative about Sierra Leone despite having inherited a very challenging sports sector with lack of proper infrastructure that was making it extremely difficult to practice the various disciplines. He, however, said that the actions taken so far by his administration were a sign of commitment to the development of sports in the country.

“Sport is a very good means of bringing people together. We want our athletes to go out there and be part of the global community which we can only do by providing the needed facilities and technical support. I want to inspire Sierra Leoneans to strive for higher heights because we have the will and interest to develop sports in the country. We will support the NOC because it is truly part of what we want to do,” he ended.

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