The President of Handball Association who also doubles as Vice President of the National Olympic Committee Dr Patrick Coker said that most people put their money on football; he made this statement when addressing players and officials of the U-20 delegation at the National Stadium before the team departed for Mali.
He said the reason for companies and individuals sponsoring football is because it attract thousands of people, but sponsoring Handball is difficult because it has less crowd or enthusiasts who will go and watch their matches.
“We are using this competition as a way of exposing you to international handball competition that will benefit all of you”, Dr Coker said.
He further stated that he will be glad if they are able to bring something back home from the competition which will be a bonus to the team.
“Handball association does not have much to give to the players but the association has made some provisions for you as you we are going to take care of their feeding, transportation throughout the competition and also you will receive some allowances from us”.
Dr Patrick averred that he too is going to give them some allowances for their stay in Guinea to play a friendly match and he donated 50,000 Guinean Franc to each of them as means of motivation.
He said even though they are not able to have better financial assistance they had three companies that came on board to assist them with some items. Emzor Paracetamol donated bags to each player with Handball inscribed on them with some other items like pens, pencils inside. Cold Storage also donated T Shirts to all the players while Balani & Sons donated caps and T Shirts with shark written on it to all the players.
Dr Patrick Coker assured the players that if they are able to win the trophy or become runners up in the competition, those who have donated to them will do more and even the Handball Association will also surprise them.
He also mentioned that that they will also go to the government and explain that they have never received financial support from them. “We are going to appeal to them to give something to you the players on your return”.
The leader of delegation Alusine Osaio Kamara who is also the Vice President of the association, in his own statement said that he is not going as a leader but as a father so the players must accept him as the leader and father by taking instructions from him.
The delegation comprises of 20 including 12 players; Jeneba Mustapha-skipper , Diana Moses ,Nancy Mary Squire, Alice Kamara, Florence Amara, Zainab Sesay, Saffie Conteh, Fanta Kargbo, Madiana Sesay, Kadiatu Conteh, Christiana Solomon and Kumba Borbor.
The officers are A G Koroma, Phengo Gborie, Abubakarr Oba Sesay the head coach.
Coaches for training during the competition are Abu White Kamara, Daniel Chuku Adams plus there is also two referees that will be going for training during the competition who are Abdul Prince Bangura, and Gerald L A Davies.
The delegation departed last week and the competition has already started yesterday 15th in Bamako, Mali. Seven countries are participating in the competition divided in two groups.