Whilst observing the day on a low-key, it is important to recognize those of our colleagues who either lost their lives by contracting the disease or, trying to save lives.
With them in mind, I humbly ask us present here today to observe a minute of silence for our fallen heroes……MAY THEIR DEAR SOULS REST IN PERFECT PEACE….AMEN/AMIN.
We choose as our theme: “Sports Development in Post Ebola Recovery” because of the devastation the EVD continues to cause on sports in Sierra Leone.
No staid sporting activity for over a year now in the country which means unemployment for athletes and officials; non participation in international competitions; poor performance of especially our national football teams which cannot honor fixtures on home turf and worst of all, the embarrassment and humiliation faced by athletes, officials and other Sierra Leoneans who manage to secure visas go visit foreign states on assignments.
As professional Sports Journalists, our principal focus now should be how to win back the past glories Sierra Leone is known for as far as local and global sports are concerned.
Therefore, as we celebrate World Sports Journalists Day today with millions of our colleagues around the world, I urge all local Sports Journalists to strive for excellence in your professional work.
Going by our theme for this year’s celebrations let me warn you that the task at hand is huge. We must venture to use sports as a medium for peace and economic development.
We must be the champions to rekindle the lost enthusiasm of Sierra Leoneans in sports before the advent of the EVD.
In conclusion, let me on behalf of the entire membership of SWASAL thank the Executive and members of AIPS for the support in the fight against Ebola in West Africa including Sierra Leone, our government, the UN Family, foreign nations and other institutions and individuals.
Special thanks also go to our major sponsor Mercury International Sierra Leone Limited.
Long Live AIPS
Long Live Sports Journalism
God Bless SWASAL
I thank you all