A workshop to discuss ways of improving Paralympic sport in Sierra Leone has taken place, as the West African nation looks to continue its sporting growth despite the devastating impact of the Ebola outbreak.
Since the outbreak began in December 2013, it has claimed an estimated total of over 7,000 lives, with around 2,500 of these deaths coming in Sierra Leone.
But despite the consequential disruption throughout the nation, Paralympic officials have refused to let the outbreak of Ebola stop them from pushing forward with their development plans, gathering in capital city Freetown for a Workshop.
The Workshop, organised by Unisa Deen Kargbo, programme lead for the Organisational Capacity Programme (OCP) run by the International Paralympic Committee's development arm, the Agitos Foundation, focused on strengthening the running of the NPC.
In particular, this spanned areas of governance, management, leadership and sport promotion, supporting them to improve their overall capacity to develop and support Para-athletes in reaching their full potential.
Nine athletes and administrators attended, with presentations also given on the Paralympic brand and Games and the best ways to organise themselves with the resources they have.
"I am going to have a one day interactive session to present the draft strategic plan and a budget to support the activities on it," said Kargbo afterwards.
"I have also informed that come next year when Ebola shall have been a thing of the past we shall introduce Paralympic Day to raise awareness on disabled sports."
He added that the Sport Ministry have restated their commitment to Para-sport in Sierra Leone, after the NPC were drafted in to a national programme to help the country recover from Ebola.
Javelin thrower Kelley Marah became Sierra Leone's first ever Paralympian at Atlanta 1996, finishing sixth in the men's F34/37 competition, while Mohamed Kamara competed in 100 and 200 metres T46 events at London 2012.
More athletes from the nation will be able to compete at future Games as a result of administrative improvements, it will be hoped.
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