The Sierra Leone Handball Association last Saturday October 3rd 2020 presented relief support of cash money to players, coaches and referees as a way of easing the COVID-19 effects on them.
In his statement, at the Old School Hall at Hill Station in Freetown, the Association’s Secretary General, Alieu G. Koroma, welcomed everyone on behalf of the president, Dr Patrick Coker, and also thanked them for attending to the call of the Association.
According to him, it is also a call from their international partners, including the International Handball Federation (IHF), Confederation of African Handball (CABH), Zone 2 Handball Federation, and Commonwealth Handball Federation.
He further stated that they, as an executive body, received support from the international federation, adding that they will ensure they give supports to the handball family, including the players, coaches and referees during these trying times.
“Without you we would have not been here; the players and the coaches are key to this support, that’s why we waited for this moment and we want you to know that the program is in two folds, which is the distribution of cash today and commencing a cleaning program, which should be part of us. The date will be announced soon,” he said.
“Please don’t say because you have received this cash you will not be attending the cleaning. Mind you, the cleaning is part of this program. We are going to commence a symbolic cleaning exercise at the Connaught Hospital, which will serve as our own support to the fight against COVID-19,” the Handball Scribe stated.
Explaining the rationale behind the COVID-19 relief support, SLHA’s Treasurer, John A.G. Elliot, said it was with the relentless effort of the Secretary General and other members of the executive who decided to request for COVID-19 support to the International Handball Federation (IHF) who in return sent six thousand Switzerland Francs, which is equivalent to Fifty Five Million Leones.
“After we received the money, the Secretary General told us that the money is not meant to be kept in the Bank, it’s for the Handball family, which include the players, coaches and the referees and that, as an executive, we are not entitled to this money, so we are going to distribute this money to each and every one of you, including those in the provinces, Masiaka, Bo, Kenema and Makeni,” he said.
Elliot also emphasized that players must exercise patience as they still await the resumption of training for clubs, taking into consideration Handball is a team sport and that if they are to start training they need to do frequent COVID-19 tests, which they can’t afford for now.
In her statement, on behalf of the female players, Fanta Kargbo expressed thanks and appreciation to the executive of the Handball Association and the International Handball Federation for the wonderful gesture, which, she said, is timely.
“We are very delighted to receive this support during these trying times, and we want to thank you, our able executive, and your partners. Male players’ representative, Umaru Deen Sesay, continued, “We have to make sure we continue to adhere to COVID-19 precautions by washing our hands regularly with soap and water, mask up and keep the social distancing.”