By Mohamed Jalloh
The Sierra Leone Swimming Team is set to represent the country at the Commonwealth games in Australia and the Zone 2 games in Senegal, respectively.
According to the Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Swimming Association, Mohamed Abdul Turay, the country will be represented in Australia by two swimmers, Bintu Rabbi Jalloh, who will compete in the 50 meters free style and breaststroke, while Ishmael Koroma will compete in the 50 meters freestyle and butterfly categories.
Mr. Turay disclosed that the swimming duo will leave the shores of Sierra Leone on the 25th March to have early preparation and to further acclimatize with the environment before the commencement of the games on the 15th April.
The team would be supervised by Coach Bobson Mansaray, who is one of the leading swimmers in the country.
The swimming administrator noted that he is optimistic about the performance of the team in Australia, as both of them have met the international time threshold when they represented the country at the all Islamic games in Azerbaijan and the international swimming championship in Budapest, Hungary.
He furthered that the team doctor and welfare officer is monitoring the behavioral lifestyle and nutritional intake of the swimmers to ensure that they are fit and healthy to compete at the highest international level.
The Secretary General reported that while the pair is away in Australia, the rest of the swimming team will be engaged in intensive training exercise at the national swimming pool as part of preparations to represent Sierra Leone in the Zone 2 tournament in Dakar, Senegal on the 4th, 5th and 6th of May.
He thanked the government for the support to the Swimming Association over the years, whiles maintaining that the Association is still grappling with logistical and financial challenges. He revealed that swimming has not received the necessary attention in the country.
The Swimming Association scribe concluded by pointing out that, due to the low standard of living and lack of opportunities in the country, many sportsmen and women escape while attending international sporting events.