Best Practice

Sierra Leone Olympians give back to the community

8 | 9 | 2014

Olympians in Sierra Leone are set to spread the Olympic values of Friendship, Respect and Excellence in their local communities in the coming months as part of an annual programme of activities that will aim to improve sporting performances in the West African nation and spread goodwill to those who are less fortunate.

In November, a group of Olympians led by two time Olympian and President of the Sierra Leonean NOA, Dr Francis Dove Edwin, will take over the national radio airwaves in Sierra Leone in a programme titled, Olympic Hour, in which the Olympians will speak to youngsters about sporting excellence, the spirit of Olympism and how transferring Olympic values to everyday life can have a positive impact on the communities they live in. Listeners will also have the opportunity to call up and ask questions of their Olympic heroes.

December will also see the return of the annual prison visitation programme in which Olympians will visit Pademba Road Prison in the Sierra Leonean capital, Freetown, to instil in prisoners Olympic values that can help them to improve their behaviour, speed up their rehabilitation process  and teach important lifestyle lessons that can be adhered to upon release. The Olympians will also donate food and gifts to the prisoners along with Olympic literature for them to read and learn from.

Olympians involved in the initiatives include Track and Field stars; Benjamin Grant, Benton Williams and Haroun Koji.

Speaking about the projects, two time Olympian and Sierra Leonean NOA President, Francis Dove Edwin, said:

“As Olympians we have fulfilled our dreams by competing on the world’s greatest sporting stage. Now it is our turn to channel our love of sport and give something back to the community. It is very humbling for us to be able to support young people in Sierra Leone through the Olympic Hour radio programme and hopefully our experiences and our advice can help them to achieve their own ambitions.

“It is also important that we provide support to those who are less fortunate. By visiting local prisons we hope that we can help prisoners to seize the opportunity and make the most of their second chance when it arrives. We truly believe that Olympic values can also serve as life values.”