The Teqball Table, which was donated to the Sierra Leone Olympafrica Center at Goderich by the Sierra Leone Teqball Association, was officially commissioned on Thursday October 29th 2020.
In his welcome address, the Coordinator of the Olympafrica, Frank Turay, said the colorful event, which saw pupils from various Primary and Secondary Schools, within the Goderich Community in attendance, will witness three different functions, including the education on anti-doping, the continuous sensitization on COVID-19 and the official commissioning of the Teqball Table.
Giving the keynote address, Unisa Deen Kargbo, the President of Sierra Leone Teqball Association, said the role of the National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone (NOC-SLE) is to ensure that they deal with athletes at top level, but they have also realized that there is a disconnection as most times the athletes at top level are unable to give the result which the country is looking for.
“They go to play football, they are unable to win. They go to Olympic Games they are unable to bring medals. At the end of the day, the people look at the players as if as the coaches are not strong or the athletes are not strong, but that is not the problem. Sometimes we have the problem from the beginning, there is a disconnection. The athletes are not properly groomed when they were at the young ages. The people have the habit of changing the age of these athletes. When they are 21, they criminally tell them to go and say they are 17; then they go and play under 17 tournament. The result is that the country doesn’t equally have the potential it will be looking out for when it comes to national level. By the time we would be thinking that these under 17 are up to the task to represent Sierra Leone. But within the space of five years they would become old people, so the country will only be hoping and hoping but there will be no result,” he said
He added: “This is why the NOC is now focused on the real young people not the manufactured young people. So our Olypmafrica Center is looking forward to develop the real young people, those people who are in school; those people that will not reduce their age. That is why we are care about the Olympafrica Center.”
“If you are about to acquire skills at this time with a lot of criminal act you can never acquire skills. That is the sad situation for Sierra Leone. We allow the athletes to go over the ages of 17; then we bring them to participate at 17 years of age competition. The result is, give them drugs so that they can be able to train like 17 years’ people, this is not correct.”
“Training somebody doesn’t only mean how to play sport, but there are certain things that can also destroy you. Drugs can also destroy you, so do not take banned drugs to enhance your performance,” he concluded.
The Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone (NOC-SLE), Joseph Nyande, during his lectures on the anti-doping, said they are responsible for training technical participation and also the attendance to the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, noting that Dr Patrick Coker who is the President of NOC-SLE and the Commonwealth Games is the Chairman for the Medical Commission, the National Anti-Doping of Sierra Leone and he is also a member of the Associations of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Medical Commission.
“We want you to participate in sporting activities naturally. Steroids can make you run faster, build up more muscles or make you perform better. But they cannot only destroy your career but also destroy your human system,” he said.
He said the habit of doping is not condoned by the International Federations, the Commonwealth Games Federations, International Olympic Committee or even the Olympic Solidarity. “So they set up a system in which each and every athlete has to be tested for certain elements that will enhance your performance during training and competitions.”
“Doping is the reason some athletes have an advantage over other athletes because they use abolished steroids and performance enhancing drugs. We want everybody in sport to perform at the same level. Your natural tendency must be shown, you have to train very hard and naturally,” the NOC’s Scribe maintained.
“If you are using an abolished steroids and performance enhancing drugs, which will make your body performs illegally during competition or out of competition, you will be held responsible and you will be banned from participating in competitions.”
“The reason why we are educating you about anti-doping is because we don’t want you, as youth or young children, to participate in taking these substances or the abolished elements that will enhance your performance. It will destroy your body,” Nyande concludes.
NOC’s Laboratory Technician, Dura Sapateh, urged the children to always be vigilant in the fight against COVID-19 and that the virus is not yet finished in the country. So they should always adhere to the preventive measures being put in place by NACOVERC.
Making the official proclamations, Unisa Deen Kargbo said, “As President of the approved national association of Teqball in this country, it is my pleasure, on behalf of the Teqball family, to officially commission the table that was presented to the Olympafrica Center on behalf of the children and school pupils of Sierra Leone,” he stated.
“On behalf of my President, Dr Patrick Coker, the President and his executives of the National Olympic Committee, I will take this opportunity to commission this table,” NOC’s scribe stated.
“First of all, I want to thank the NOC for making sure that we have the Teqball Association in Sierra Leone. I want to also thank the President of Teqball Association in Sierra Leone, Unisa Deen Kargbo, on behalf of the Olympafrica. Indeed I am very grateful to have this table in the center, which the children will be playing and we will make sure that a team at the Olpmafrica Center will emerge to become the champion. I believe, with the local materials we are having here, we will soon be one of the best teams in the country,” he said.
Also, one of the school pupils in attendance, on behalf of her colleagues, expressed her thanks and appreciation, noting that they will make good use of the Teqball Table.