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Sierra Leone Sports: Western Area Basketball Association struggles to stage inter club championship

The newly formed Western Area Basketball Association (WABA) is running out of patience to stage the inter-club basketball championship because they don’t have a standard basketball court to host the competition.
Since the establishment of the WABA, the Executive Committee has asked for the use of the Siaka Stevens Stadium court but they’ve been turn down by the powers that be. The Stadium court is the most appropriate venue for the competition.
And, because of little or no support from the Sierra Leone National Basketball Federation (SLNBF) they’ve not been able to meet and explain their plight to the Sport Minister, who, by all indications, doesn’t recognize WABA because the national federation has not officially presented their executive as the legitimate body to run basketball in Freetown.
WABA’s Public Relations Officer, Alex Kangasu, expressed frustration over the situation, which has hindered the progress of the sport over the last few months. He said, if it weren’t for clubs like Dock Canon and Dukuray Warriors who organized warm up competitions for some of the clubs, the momentum for game would have perished long ago.
The PRO said he is unsure of the future of the basketball league and cannot even tell if the game will be played this year as they only have 3 months before the rainy season.
Kangasu furthered that there are other basketball courts in the east and western part of Freetown but they are not standard enough to stage a league. The Stadium court is the only upgraded and standard facility to host a competitive league.
The WABA PRO blames the President of the Basketball Federation, Joseph Nyande, for not showing concern on promoting the game.
It is evident that the basketball, volleyball and lawn tennis courts were all shutdown for rehabilitation last year. But Kangasu blasted that the rehabilitation has ended and they’ve seen activities hosted on the courts and he thinks that is unfair to them because the court is meant for basketball.
Despite the fact that basketball is facing the challenge, even tennis and volleyball can’t played at the venue as the Chinese company are still working on the courts. Perhaps they have a stipulated time frame to hand the courts to the management before hosting activities of any of three sporting discipline there.
But many people have raise concerns about why activities like dance competition and judo championship hosted at the venue and the other disciplines have been restricted from using it.
Meanwhile, the WABA executive is setting up other plans to start up a project while waiting on the Ministry of Sports to give them the green light to use the court.
They’ve mapped out developmental projects for western area school basketball league, which will be played in the other local courts, exhibition matches to encourage more boys to play basketball and a massive training for Physical Health Education teachers who will in turn serve as coaches for the various schools.
The executive will also embark on renovation of local courts situated at schools and community so as to ensure clubs in those communities.
By Magdalene S. Konneh
Wednesday January 31, 2018.

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