Indeed our cricketers have continued to lift high the country’s image in the international scene and they deserve a pat on the back for their continued strides to make that possible unlike our footballers who always received lots of goodies and yet still fail to bring laurels back home.
Today it is sad that we cannot host any international cricket tourney because the only oval that we can boast of is nothing to write home about. It’s an eyesore to see the present condition of that oval that used to host Nigerians, Ghanaians, and Gambians in the Quadrangular tournament driven away from Sierra Leone.
Despite this rather unpleasant pitch the lads from Kingtom to whom I would dedicate the game of cricket to must be lauded for their patriotic stance in upholding the discipline much to the admiration of lovers of the game.
Today the once greenish pitch during the days of the late Jenkins-Johnson as Commissioner of Police and the likes of Grace Jenner-Wrights who constructed a dressing room, their efforts have all been trashed, because there is virtually no control over the pitch.
Take a drive down to the oval; you would be amazed to see how those footballers have virtually killed the grass on the pitch, added with a massive footpath along the pitch being used by Police personnel, their relatives and a host of others as the thoroughfare into Kingtom.
Well over the years to assist Salone in its cricket gains, the ICC made a generous donation of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the fencing and planting of grass at the venue. One is poised to ask what has happened to that money as we are yet to see the commencement of the work.
Another rainy season is at hand, but I guess the executive is not thinking seriously of embarking on this great venture that would pave the way for this nation to see the hosting of international cricket tournaments again.
However, this is Salone where one executive always accuse the other of chopping money meant for development. But sadly since over three years now this ‘grass planting’ project seems to be in limbo, so I am asking this salient question where is the $5,000 dollars meant for the Kingtom grounds?
Probably, I would get the answer from the present executive within matter of days.
Now to another issue that was reflected upon last week,- that match fixing scam- to which the Premier League Board (PLB) responded to FC Kallon’s letter of complaint. I was really surprised that the PLB could just wrap up the issue under the carpet with such a flimsy excuse.
However, I am not surprised at the stance of the PLB, because if they are running leagues which fixtures are not synchronized then do you expect them to take a positive stance in the fight against bribery and corruption.
I make bold to state that the action of the PLB has left me flatfooted, as I am of the opinion that this match fixing scam would rear its ugly head again and sweet nothing would come out of it.
Despite these frustrations on the football pitch, I am extremely delighted that the Australian government had donated the sum of US$27,000 towards the training and development of volleyball skills among school children.
I do hope that this project will not be slaughtered as others in the past and one thing I would like to re-emphasize is the statement made by High Commissioner William Billy Williams who said “through the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) I am pleased that we are able to make a practical contribution to the development of volleyball in Sierra Leone.”
He went on to state, “we hope that through this grant the capacity of trainers, coaches and administrators will be increased in the country which will be good for the sports.” Quite, honestly this is a golden opportunity to see a turn in the development of volleyball in the country.
And one is of the opinion that the project coordinator would be given a free hand to ensure that the 12 Districts and 149 Chiefdoms earmarked would indeed benefit from the training. One thing I want the volleyball association to think seriously about is that the project was launched in collaboration with the National Sports Council and not them. So please let them cooperate for the benefit of the school children.
One is convinced that if this project is successful, which I am sure of, then we can even advance like Ghana where the ASOP is also supporting the training of sports officials in athletics, boxing, volleyball, table tennis and handball.
You are closely being monitored as the ball is in your courts.
By Samuel John