The President of the National Olympic Committee, Henry G Moore, told Awoko Sports that this year’s Olympic Day Run was a real success and, even though it was a rainy day, Sierra Leoneans came out in hundreds to participate in the Run.
He said, as President of NOC, he feels very good over the way Sierra Leoneans reacted to the run and for the seriousness attached to the event. He did, however, compare that the last Olympic Day Run in Bo had a larger crowd than this year’s, but stated that the weather in Bo was much better. “If the weather was good as the one in Bo last year, the crowd should have been double the one last year,” he said.
President Moore noted that the Olympic Day Run held in Makeni three years ago was also a success but, for the past three consecutive years, the one in Freetown was the most successful.
“The Olympic Day run is a way of sensitizing people about the ideal of the Olympic Games,” Moore said. “Age does not matter as you are going to run at your own pace.”
He said the Olympic Day Run is a way of making people aware of what the Olympic movement is all about and that the actual day for the Olympic Day Run was June 23.
Before presenting certificates to those who participated in the run at the National Stadium, President Moore read the message of the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, and the message read: “All over the world, the Olympic Day Run is a great moment of sport, solidarity and celebration, which thousands of people look forward to. Every year, on the five continents, men and women, children and seniors, athletes of all ages and from different sports, celebrate in their own way the creation of the international event that is more than just a run…”
The statement went further to state the Olympic Day Run “is a unique opportunity to share Pierre de Coubertin’s vision, promote the development of those physical and moral qualities that are the basis of sport.”
The message also mentioned that sports are being used to educate young people in a spirit of better understanding between each other and spread the Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect throughout the world, thereby creating international goodwill. In the organization of this important event, the IOC is accompanied by its partners. “We are grateful for the commitment and enthusiasm of our worldwide Olympic partner, McDonald’s, which has been supporting the National Olympic Committees in making this run a success during the last six years,” the statement read.
The statement also notes that more than ever, sport has to be a social movement that can offer to all the generations – young people in particular – the chance to lead not just a healthier, more balanced life, but a more meaningful one. The message ends by saying that the Olympic Day Run is an excellent way of achieving this.
Vice President of NOC Dr Patrick Coker made his own statement, emphasizing more on discipline of athletes and officials and he also mentioned that majority of Sierra Leoneans are focused on football. He appealed to all to have interest in the other sporting disciplines, if sport is to develop countrywide.
The deputy Minister of Education Youth and Sports, Lansana Nyallah, who deputized the Education Youth and Sports Minister Minkailu Bah, made a statement on behalf of the minister.