In her drive to inspire young leaders and young athletes in Sierra Leone, the President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Mrs. Isha Johansen paid a courtesy call to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School on Dock Yard last Wednesday-a school she described as "the factory of sports talent".
Arriving on a motorcade at the ferry junction roundabout, Madam Johansen and her entourage, which include the SLFA Vice President, Brima 'Mazolla' Kamara, received a rousing welcome by the school administration, Old Students as well as current pupils. The school band led the procession while hundreds of pupils formed a parallel line on either side of the road from the ferry junction roundabout to the school gate; applauding and requesting a hug from the FA president.
Making her statement, Mrs Johansen said her father's heritage, legacy in his professional life, his charitable deeds and his role in football leadership was what gave her a stronger platform with which to address the pupils and people in the east.
"Ahmadiyya School is renown not for its output of academic brilliance but for its production of outstanding sportsmen and women; especially in the area of football. It would be nice in the near future to see a combination of these two things; academia and sports achievers going side by side in good numbers," the FA president said.
She added that if Ahmadiyya is a factory producing sports talents, then it's high time they RAISE THE GAME a little and start to aim for the international platform. She cautioned her audience to be disciplined, have integrity and be patriotic adding that football is truly a global game that has no religious, social or language barriers.
"I see you the next generation as the future leaders of this country. I see you as the generation that will Raise Your Game and raise our country," she noted.
Concluding her statement, the FA president announced a sponsorship package of a thousand United States Dollars for 50 pupils every year, 200 bags of cement towards the construction of new classroom blocks and a set of football Jersey to the popular Ahmadiyya women's football team, Amizon FC. Madam Johansen had earlier made a similar donation to her alma mater, St Joseph Convent Secondary in February this year.
Responding the Junior Secondary School Principal, Kabiru Mansaray lauded the FA president for what he described as her timely intervention. He assured that the donated items would be used for the intended purpose.
The School Head boy in his vote of thanks appealed to the Old Students to come to their aid noting that if Mrs Johansen, who is not an alumnus of the school can render such a kind gesture, what about the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Alhaji Sam Sumana, Hon. Kemoh Sesay - Minister of Political Affairs and several others who are alumni.
"It is time for all those that pass through this school to come to its aid as it is this school that gave them the foundation to what they are in society today. We are not asking for much from you; just a little can be enough," he appealed.
Former Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School Principal, Alhaji M.P. Bayoh was the Chairman of the occasion.
Copyright 2014 The Sierra Leone Football Association.
Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being giving to the Communications Desk of the FA as source.