Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link

Hastings East Sussex hosts the SL Olympic Team!

Perhaps 2 years ago, Michael Foster had the brilliant idea that the members of the Sierra Leone Olympic Team might like to acclimatise themselves in Hastings UK. After long delays, it finally happened! Two fine SL athletes qualified – Ola Sesay (long jump -5th or 6th in the world) and Ibrahim Turay (200 metres) – and spent a week in Hastings, accompanied by a small team of officials and members of the press. The athletes trained at William Parker Sports College, had a packed programme of visits arranged by the Link and Hastings Borough Council, and were interviewed by BBC TV.  The Link is very grateful to the Headteacher and staff of William Parker Sports College, to the White Rock Hotel which generously provided the accommodation, and to local sponsors who made it all possible.  Here is a selection of pictures taken on the day the SL delegation was taken to the Olympic Village, followed by the delegation’s official press release.

Ibrahim training at WPSC

My heroine!

Ibrahim Turay at WPSC

Link members and SL delegates at the Olympic Village

With His Excellency Mr Edward Turay

Official Press Release: The Sierra Leone delegation has been officially welcomed in the Games Village of the London Olympics. The Team Welcome Ceremony was attended by the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to the United Kingdom H E Edward Mohamed Turay and the entire staff of the High Commission. Members of the Sierra Leone Hastings Link were also in attendance. The guests had the opportunity of visiting the Games Village and the apartment of Sierra Leone.
The ceremony itself was all about flag raising and acknowledgement of Sierra Leone’s presence in the 2012 Olympic Games. The Mayor of the Games Village commended the athletes for their hard training before the games. He assured the athletes and officials of a friendly atmosphere and called on them to compete fairly.
During the program there was an exchange of gifts in which the Chef de Mission of Sierra Leone, Unisa Deen Kargbo, presented a piece of typical home made wooden  craftsmanship inscribed, ‘Greetings from Sierra Leone’.
Sierra Leone’s two athletes, Ola Sesay the Female Long Jumper and Ibrahim Turay, the male 200M sprinter all expressed determination to lift the banner high when the competitions begin. Both athletes have had pre-games training in Hastings (East Sussex).
For details follow the Freetown Press.
Unisa Deen Kargbo

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