Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link

Sizzling soccer in the sun!

It’s a great pity that our Sierra Leonean teachers weren’t able to be present at this year’s soccer tournament, because of visa problems (yet again!). However, we had a wonderful day’s sport in brilliant sunshine. Roger writes:

Soccer in the Sun – Sierra Leone Annual Tournament Sizzles

More of our Primary schools than ever have partners in Sierra Leone and this was reflected in the largest ever entry to the annual tournament for these schools hosted by St Leonard’s Academy. Girls’ and Boys’ teams from 10 local schools competed on Monday June 25th to become champions.

All teams competed with each other for a couple of hours in group phases. These brought the girls of St Leonards CE and Battle and Langton CE into contention in a final, which was won convincingly 3-0 by the team from Battle. A third and fourth place play-off resulted in victory for the girls of St Mary Star of the Sea RC over ARK Blacklands.

The boy’s final went to the wire and beyond it. At the end of full-time The Baird were drawing with Battle and Langton with no goals scored. The play was of a tremendously high standard and the game hard fought to the encouragement of the many supporters enjoying the wonderful weather. Then came extra time. Attacks were skilful and crafty but defences were solid and, at the end of extra time there was still no score. The rules do not allow a penalty shoot-out and the trophy will now be shared between these two schools for the year. The third and fourth place play-off saw ARK Blacklands defeating St Leonard’s CE by a goal to nil.

The Mayor, Cllr. Nigel Sinden, and his Deputy, Cllr James Bacon, were able to attend the event throughout and presented every contestant with a medal. Both the Mayor and Deputy are well known supporters of the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link and have been members of groups visiting our Twin Town of Hastings.

Members of HSLFL, who sponsor this event, wish to thank Teresa Bennett, the HRSGP School Games Organiser and School Sports Coordinator at the Academy, for the amazing organisation of the tournament since its beginning in 2008. Students from the Academy, as always, did a superb job as match officials.

For those who are keen to know the results, they were:


  1. Battle and Langton CE
  2. St Leonards CE
  3. St Mary Star of the Sea RC
  4. ARK Blacklands

Unplaced All Saints CE, St Pauls CE, Christ Church CE, Guestling CE, West St Leonards, The Baird


  1. Battle and Langton and The Baird tied
  2. ARK Blacklands
  3. St Leonards CE

Unplaced: All Saints, St Pauls, Guestling, West St Leonards, St Mary Star of the Sea, Christ Church.


Here are some of Derek’s photos.

Our Mayor and Deputy Mayor supported us