Before departing the delegation pays courtesy call to the NOC executive the NOC President, Dr. Patrick Coker addressed both pupils and parents. Dr. Coker said that olympicafrica is a bigger project than National Olympic Committee (NOC). He said the children are going as Ambassadors representing Sierra Leone and encouraged the parents to be proud of them and to pray for their success.
The NOC President pointed out that most athletes who left the country failed to return were influenced by their parents, and encouraged the kids to return after the games to come to contribute to the development of their motherland in whatever little ways they can.
The Olympicafrica project consists of six countries including the host, Ivory Coast and they will compete in what Dr. Coker noted is going to be “a competitive tournament”.
The team from Sierra Leone is expected to battle it out with likes from the host Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso and Liberia.
Meanwhile, it is not yet confirmed whether Liberia will participate given the recent resurfacing of the ebola virus disease in the country.
The Sierra Leone delegation comprises 8 children, of which are 5 boys and 3 girls to be accompanied by a Technical Director. The NOC Sierra Leone had however put up a very strong case for the inclusion of a female coach in the person of Kadie Mawandeh as part of the delegation rounding it up to ten.
According to Frank Turay, three of the boys and 2 of the girls should be in the age ranges 12 to 13 years, while the remaining 2 boys and 1 girl should be between 14 and 15 years old.
The team’s departure was partly facilitated by the NOC Sierra Leone.