Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The National Sports Authority (NSA) convened a crucial Annual General Meeting with representatives from various National Sports Associations at its office on 22 New Signal Hill Road, Off Congo Cross, Freetown.
The meeting drew participation from representatives of all registered sporting associations operating in the country. The agenda included presentations on Guidelines for the registration and recognition of National Sports Organizations (NSOs) in Sierra Leone from 2024 to 2028, the NSOs Annual Development Plan Questionnaire, and an interactive session with questions, observations, and comments from the diverse representatives.
Steven Keifala, the Director of Participation and Sustainable Sports at the NSA, explained the purpose behind the meeting, stating that the guidelines and recognition had received endorsement from the Government and the NSA.
“We have established rules and regulations that they need to understand if they wish to operate sports policy. This document was developed within the sport sector in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports. We brought them together to discuss it, allowing them to offer input so that collectively, we can take ownership of the document,” he remarked.
Keifala emphasized the need to align the document with the government’s policies and agenda. He pointed out that a similar meeting was held in 2020 when the NSA commenced operations, outlining the laws that sports bodies should adopt for recognition and registration by the government.
Highlighting the conclusion of the four years, Keifala noted that the government had reviewed its policy agenda, necessitating the development of new guidelines for the next five years. These guidelines encompass experiences from the past four years, addressing issues such as sports facility development, sports funding, conflicts between associations, and the organization of national and international competitions.
“The aim is to provide a framework for the recognition and operation of sports bodies in the country. Associations should present these aspects to us as a regulatory body, aligning their operations with the expectations outlined in the guidelines,” he emphasized.
Keifala acknowledged the significant increase in attendance compared to previous years, signalling a growing awareness among associations about the benefits of compliance with regulations. He encouraged them to focus on sports facility development, highlighting the importance of a balanced approach that includes governance structures and administrative considerations.
In urging associations to think about holistic development, Keifala emphasized the scarcity of sports facilities in the country, emphasizing the need for collaboration between the government and sports associations to address this challenge. BT/26/12/2023