Freetown International Center, Aberdeen, Tuesday 14 December 2021 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has launched the National Sports Development Fund and made a token contribution of Le10 billion, calling on citizens to support the national project.
Minister of Sports, Ibrahim Nyelenkeh, said the launch of the Fund by President Julius Maada Bio was the first of its kind in the country, adding that it would go a long way to bring lasting development to all sporting disciplines in the country.
“The start of the Sierra Leone Premier League in 2018 saw significant progress made by the New Direction government. It created about 20,000 jobs for young people across the country and we see the country being recognised on the international stage. Thank you very much President Bio for supporting this project,” he concluded.
Executive Director of National Sports Authority, Dr Kenneth Brima, said the launch of the account for the Fund would ultimately provide a solid foundation for young talents across a range of sporting disciplines to compete and become superb role models. He added that sport was a key aspect of Sierra Leone’s links with other nations and that it could be a bridge across national, cultural, ethnic, language and political divides.
“Your Excellency Sir, we are happy to inform you that significant efforts have been made to develop rules and regulations to effectively manage and administer sporting activities in the schools, colleges, universities and polytechnic.
“Sport brings communities together and when our athletes are on the world stage it brings our nation together and gives us pride. This was clearly demonstrated when Sierra Leone qualified for the Africa Nations Cup 2022 Tournament, to be held in Cameroon,” he concluded.
In his statement before the launch of the National Sports Development Fund Account, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio recalled that then as flagbearer for the Sierra Leone People’s Party, SLPP, they made deliberate and intentional commitments in their Manifesto and as a government they had also reiterated those in the Medium-Term National Development Plan.
“It is because we believed then and still believe that sports is a great enabler of sustainable national development. Sports creates jobs and supports entrepreneurship. It supports gender equality and inclusion for persons with disabilities. So, we have reorganised sports in this country and made the necessary legal, policy, and institutional changes to transform sports in this country. We believe we can achieve even more,” he said.
He noted that as a government, therefore, they were establishing the Fund with a very clear view to supporting the overall objectives and activities of the National Sports Authority, which were to support sports development, technical and coaching development, sports infrastructure development, and overall funding of sports competitions.
“The Sports Fund Management Committee will be an autonomous body that will make decisions on how funds are used transparently to support sports development and sports activities. There is a need for equal access to quality recreational services, and accessible sports facilities in schools and communities. There is a need for sports to be fully embedded in our human capital development priorities as a nation. It offers additional opportunities for career development that would otherwise not have existed.
“With great pride and optimism, I, therefore, formally launch the National Sports Fund Account for Sierra Leone with a token contribution of Ten Billion Leones,” he said.
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