By: Mohamed Abu Conteh
Commonwealth Games Association of Sierra Leone has on March 13th, 2023 concluded its three-day cleaning exercise at Lumley beach with a sports Jamboree held at the Sierra Leone Volleyball Beach Arena.
The Commonwealth Game Changer’s program with this year’s theme:
“The Power of Sport to Mobilise and Raise Awareness for Our Environment” was officially launched on Thursday by the Minister of Environment, Prof Foday Jaward, and the three days cleaning exercise at the beach begins on Friday.
The colourful ceremony was chaired by the President of the Sierra Leone Volleyball Federation, Ahmed Khanou, who doubles as the Chairman’s Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Game Changer Programme. The program was graced by a host of personalities including the Director of Sports, Haroun Korjie, NSA’s Lamin Lambert Sesay, former NOC /CGA-SLE, Dr. Patrick Coker, representative of Rokel Commercial Bank, Ann Marie, Mabel Mason of Orange Sierra Leone, Presidents of Sports Associations and more.
A total of 117 athletes, 9 coaches, and 18 officials from various sporting disciplines including the Single Leg Amputee and Wheelchairs race of the National Paralympics Committee, Female and Male Beach Volleyball, Wrestling, Karate, Taekwondo, and Judo exhibited their talents.
Explaining the rationale behind the Commonwealth Game Changer Project, The President of the Commonwealth Games Association of Sierra Leone, Prince Vandy Suallay, first of all, thanked the Commonwealth Games Federation for coming up with the initiative.
He said as the name would suggest they have to come up with creative ideas that will impact our society meaning something that would change the equation and it was left to them the CGA in Sierra Leone to come up with something.
“I and my whole team of the Commonwealth Games Association thought the environment is critical it’s almost existential these days to our society and we have to sustain what we have which is the natural environment that God has given us and that’s why we choose the environment specifically the beach.
“This beach was given to us by God. That is why we think it’s incumbent on us to sustain it and one of the ways we have to maintain the sustainability of this beach is to make sure that it’s always clean,” he stated.
The President furthered that they’ve partnered with a lot of other organizations within Sierra Leone, the Rokel Commercial Bank, Orange Sierra Leone, EPA, and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, noting that in the past two days, they’ve embarked on cleaning the entire Beach and Freetown City Council helped them to haul it all away, which why they culminated the two days beach event into a Sports Jamboree.
“We think the environment is existential to sports itself and these human beings indeed the Game Changer Project living up to its name in Sierra Leone and I am so happy I thank the CGF for bringing up this kind of initiative. “
“Orange is ready to sponsor to make this a yearly sports jamboree pretty much geared towards the sustainability of the environment so it going to continue.”
“If The Game Changer is a catalyst to bring in more awareness to our environment then that is what the goal is and that is why they called it the Game Changer, it suppose to change the equation and hopefully maintain and sustain what we’ve started,” he affirmed.
The symbolic planting of nine (9) trees in the Sierra Leone Beach Volleyball Arena by dignitaries raised awareness of the environment. Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to Orange Sierra, Rokel Commercial Bank, Ministry of Sports, NSA, and RSLAF.