Quite honestly if sports in general is to take an upsurge drive, this nation needs a sporting policy that would outline its priorities rather than the ad hoc manner in which its present state is.
There comes in the National Sports Council, which is the supervising arm of sports development in the country.
Since its establishment in the 60’s the National Sports Council has yet to make public a sporting policy for this nation, despite the fact that the onus rests squarely on them to guide and direct sporting discipline in their rapid rise.
But alas, this body created by an act of Parliament has never since its inception issued a sporting policy, like their counterparts in the sub-region which has over the years seen development at a faster rate.
Probably our own sporting policy is in some cabinet gathering dust, as sporting directors come and go without thinking of addressing such issues.
How long shall we linger on in this shabby manner in which sports is being treated by the National Sports Council; are they really pleased over the snail pace of sport development?
If they are, we are not, as some of us who have seen what goes on in other countries want to see a rapid change towards the approach of sports in the country.
That change must be seen to be coming from the National Sports Council which have all the technical expertise in the country, but yet still sports development is still in limbo.
With all due respect to the experts at the National Sports Council, now that government is spending a colossal sum of Le563 million on sporting disciplines, and other sectors in the country are yapping for funds, wake up from your slumber and give this nation a sporting policy that would stand the test of time.
Knowing fully well the caliber of people that constitute the National Sports Council, when they cannot honour the gratuity of dead workers for almost five years now, they would tell the minor sporting disciplines that they have utilized that vast amount on Leone Stars.
Rather interesting, other sporting disciplines who have brought honour to this land are seldom showered with adequate funds, or their quota as stipulated in the budget allocation of the National Sports Council.
This is the time the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports should stamp his authority and call on his experts within the sporting arm to deliver a sporting policy that would span countrywide to justify government’s intervention.
In the past we have been lambasting government for paying lip services to sports development, now that the marriage is rosy, our sports experts should deliver by producing a sports policy to justify government’s drive.
Probably in drafting the sporting policy they would recommend the idea of bringing in sober minded technical experts in the other disciplines, through technical cooperation with Nigeria as is being done in the education sector.
Please don’t tell me it won’t work; I have seen it in Gambia where these experts help develop the lesser sports to some great extent, like athletics, tennis, squash and others.
I am not in any way trying to underscore the performance of our local coaches, but let me be frank to indicate that most of these guys employed as coaches are not exposed to the latest technics as often as possible. These coaches have to rely on past experience and books they secured on their own.
That brings me to another point that has been of torment to my soul over these years is whether the National Sports Council has a library that would serve as a backup for the coaches to widen their knowledge.
I am not here talking about the monthly and sometime belated updates of booklets that usually comes in from various sporting disciplines around the world.
My dream of a sporting policy has been reawakened because of the interest demonstrated by the government towards sports more especially Leone Stars, but it should not rest squarely there as the buck has to stop with the other discipline.
So please Sports Director, this is the time for you and your experts to produce a sporting policy that would mean well for the rapid development of all the disciplines in the country.
The ball is in your court, act now before it’s too late.
By Samuel John