BlazeSports’ Director of International Development, Stuart Sharp, as part of his role with CPISRA as Head of Technical Control recently visited Sierra Leone to deliver a CP seven a side workshop. The first of two CPISRA Technical Development Workshops, targeting the African Region, was held in Sierra Leone in October. The workshop, which was delivered in partnership with the Sierra Leone FA and the National Paralympic Committee, was attended by 42 participants and hosted at the country’s National Football Stadium. The content focused on coach education, classification and development structures to help those attended to have the appropriate knowledge to build CP football programs in the future.
Mr Unisa Deen Kargbo, who met with the CPISRA football committee members during the 2012 Paralympic Games, was instrumental in bring the course to Sierra Leone. He said upon reflection ” this workshop has been excellent in providing the tools which we need to take the game forward in our country. We will now use this newly gained knowledge to position our athletes into 4 teams to play within a league structure. It is of course our dream to reach the Paralympics one day and now the hard work begins”.
Both the opening and closing ceremonies attached to the course were attended, by several important dignitaries including the country’s Minister of Sport. During the ceremony, which was broadcast on national television, the Minister pledged to support the development of CP football in the country and looked forward to seeing the national team in action for the first time.
Rene Jurrius, one of the CPISRA course tutors said “I am really pleased with the level of organization and structure being provided to CP football in Sierra Leon . The players here have a great deal of potential and I feel with further development they could go on to represent their country strongly”.
Stuart Sharp,BlazeSports’ Director of International Development and CPISRA’s Head of Technical Control for football was also in attendance and remarked “I hope that those who have completed this course become agents of change in the country. CP football, and sport in general, for persons with disabilities can provide multiple long term benefits to an individual’s quality of life. I hope that the enthusiasm shown by the course participants can be sustained and new opportunities can now be created for CP football in the country. Following the strengthening of grassroot structures I hope to see Sierra Leone emerge from the African Region and be represented on the world stage”.
As part of a targeted approach to increase the number of counties participating from the African region, CPISRA will return to the continent in December to train a new set of coaches, referees and administrators but this time Tunisa.