By Saidu Jalloh

During a recent government weekly press briefing, the Minister of Sport, Madam Augusta James Teima, unveiled plans for the construction of numerous mini stadiums throughout Sierra Leone. This initiative aims to alleviate the strain on the national stadium and decentralize sporting activities across the country.

Minister Teima highlighted the inadequacy of relying solely on one stadium for all sporting events, especially considering the aging condition of the national stadium, which is currently undergoing rehabilitation. She emphasized the need for additional venues to cater to various sporting disciplines adequately.

Addressing concerns about the quality of playing fields, Minister Teima pointed out how dusty fields have adversely affected the performance of players, both in the premier league and the national team. She stressed the importance of providing suitable infrastructure, such as artificial turf, to enhance player performance and overall sporting experience.

Expressing gratitude to partners facilitating the installation of artificial turf nationwide, Minister Teima underscored the employment opportunities generated by sports activities, ranging from referees to vendors operating during match days.

The minister disclosed a substantial increase in the government’s budget allocation to support sports activities, recognizing the financial challenges inherent in sports development. Additionally, she announced the establishment of a sport development fund in collaboration with partners to mitigate the burden on the government.

Responding to queries regarding the completion of the national stadium, Minister Teima assured that renovations were underway and projected completion by year-end. She emphasized the necessity of ensuring a strong and safe stadium environment capable of accommodating up to thirty thousand spectators.

Furthermore, Minister Teima condemned attacks on referees, particularly targeting female officials, stating that punitive measures had been instituted against offenders. She acknowledged the fallibility of referees while reaffirming the government’s commitment to safeguarding their safety and professionalism.

In concluding remarks, Minister Teima expressed optimism about Sierra Leone’s prospects in international competitions, expressing confidence in the national team’s ability to qualify for and excel in the World Cup with adequate support and preparation.






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