The National Sports Authority (NSA) convened a crucial gathering today at the City Hall View Conference room, bringing together eighty sports stakeholders from sixty-one organizations.

The purpose of this meeting was to finalize plans for the establishment of the National Sports Development Fund, a pivotal initiative aimed at bolstering sports development across Sierra Leone.

Key discussions centered on the draft statutory instrument outlining the Fund’s governance structure, revenue sources, eligibility criteria, and the roles and responsibilities of participating entities. Since its inception following President Bio’s launch of the National Sports Basket Fund in December 2021 with a ten-billion-Leone donation, efforts have been ongoing to revitalize and expand its impact.

Dr. Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai Esq, Executive Director of NSA, underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in shaping the Fund’s framework. “The regulations governing the Sports Development Foundation are being crafted to harness expert insights from our stakeholders,” he affirmed during his address.

Highlighting the urgency of progress, Dr. Abdulai urged sporting organizations to unify their efforts and meet established benchmarks for government support. “We cannot afford business as usual. It’s imperative that sporting disciplines align with our standards within the next six months,” he emphasized, emphasizing the necessity for organizational growth and stability.

Hon. Hindolo Mohamed Ngevao, Chairman of the Parliamentary Sports Oversight Committee, commended the NSA’s fiscal prudence under Dr. Abdulai’s leadership, affirming parliament’s role in ensuring transparent governance of public funds. “Sport transcends mere recreation; it fosters unity and influences societal well-being,” he remarked.

Former Minister of Sport and newly appointed NSA Board Chairman, Ibrahim Nyelenkeh, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the transformative potential of the Sports Fund in supporting high-performing sports organizations.

Madam Augusta James-Teima, Minister of Sports, affirmed her ministry’s commitment to collaboration with the NSA in advancing national sports objectives. “Serious efforts are now underway to elevate sports governance and infrastructure,” she declared, signaling the ministry’s proactive role in leveraging the Development Fund for tangible community benefits.

The second phase of the meeting saw stakeholders engage in focused group discussions led by NSA Project Coordinator Michael S. Mustapha, supported by dedicated NSA volunteers. These deliberations aimed to refine strategies for fund utilization and program implementation, ensuring broad-based stakeholder input in shaping Sierra Leone’s sports landscape.

The gathering concluded with a consensus on the pivotal role of the National Sports Development Fund in fostering sustainable sports growth and enhancing national pride through athletic excellence