On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

First batch of Sierra Leone delegation arrives in London

The first set of Sierra Leone delegation which comprises the Chef de Mission Unisa Deen Kargbo, Bernard Turay, Ibrahim Turay the athlete and coach Abu White Kamara arrived in London at exactly 6; 30 am on Thursday 13th July 2012 at Heathrow Airport in London ahead of the Olympic Games.
The Journey to London started at around 23; 40 with BMI five minutes ahead of the usually time.
At the Lungi International Airport we wasted over an hour – three of us apart from the Chef de Mission Unisa Deen Kargbo who had a UK Visa in his passport as the officer who was checking for tickets and visa had to stop the three of us to make certain clarification about the Pre-Valid card which was given to us as Accreditation to enter London. After confirmation that it was real they gave us the green light.
At the Heathrow airport we were collected by some of the volunteers at the airport who took us through all the checking process before we collected our luggage. At the airport, former athlete
Prince Amara who is presently the 800 meters record holder in the country because of the cold weather gave us three coats (one for each) and host of other items.
By then the Chef De Mission Unisa Deen Kargbo had left for the final Registration meeting and I (Bernard Turay) was left in charge of the delegation until they picked us up with a mini-van to the Hasting Camp Committee, where the Sierra Leone delegation is supposed to camp before heading to the Olympic Village in a week’s time. We took about two hours some minutes drive from the airport to the village and at the village we were taken to the White Rock hotel in Hastings.
Two journalists from BBC were waiting for us to conduct an interview and they gave us ten minutes to freshen up before coming for the interview.
The Sierra Leone athlete Ibrahim Turay who will be competing in the 200 meters was invited by Sally Nan Carrow who works for the BBC News Website in South East London in the White Rock Hotel in Hastings and 10 minutes later another journalist working for BBC Chrissie Reidy also interviewed Ibrahim Turay at the training field in Hasting. She had footage of Ibrahim Turay before he was interviewed.
After the interview we returned back to the Hotel to continue and plan our programs for the days ahead as we are expecting Ola Sesay from American to arrive last Friday 13th July 2012 to join us in the camp.
Sierra Leone Olympic athletes train in Sussex ahead of the Games
Sierra Leone Olympic athletes are presently training in Sussex ahead of the London Games thanks to a Former Member of Parliament Michael Foster.
This training was organized by Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link and a number of the town’s businesses and organisations have stepped in to offer the team the facilities they need to complete their acclimatisation and training.
This is the first time Sierra Leone athletes have got such an opportunity to make sure that they do well because dedication and training is required by all Olympic athletes. The two-strong team, of Ibrahim Turay who will be participating in the 200 meters and long jumper Ola Sesay who had to overcome the additional hurdle of poverty to qualify for the games with a B standard of 6.71 meters against the odds as the government could not afford to send the Sierra Leone team to the African Games, their main qualification event.
It was Ibrahim Turay who first arrived on Thursday 12th July 2012 and a day later Ola Sesay arrived from America to join him at Hastings where they are staying at the White Rock Hotel and training at the William Parker Sports College. Presently they are undergoing serious training under Coach Abu White and they are now training three time’s day.
According to the former MP Michael Foster they will be seen around the town in their Olympic Uniforms during their stay and will appear on stage in the evening as part of the Olympic torch relay celebrations on Tuesday, July 17 before travelling on to the Olympic Village in London.
The offer to host the team was made by him Michael Foster on behalf of the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link. He revealed that as well as helping the Olympic team, it will be great for our young people to be captured by the spirit of the Olympics by seeing world class athletes living and training in Hastings. “It’s a real coup for the town.”
By Bernard Turay in Hastings (UK) at White Rock Hotel in London

Comments are closed.