23rd April 2017
EU Aid Officer Addresses Methodist School Sports in Kenema
By a press release (14/04/17)
The Methodist Secondary School 2017 Annual Sports Meet in Kenema was climaxed by the thrilling post-address by the EU Aid Officer.
Reports say the EU International Aid/Cooperation Officer and Focal Person for Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone Julius I.K. Foday was the keynote speaker at this year's Methodist School Annual Sports in Kenema. (Pictured: Education Minister Dr. Minkailu Bah). Below is the historic address made to enthused the participants:
Mr. Chairman, Principal senior and junior secondary schools, members of the Sport committee, teachers, parents, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant afternoon to you all.
It gives me great pleasure to be at the opening ceremony of this year's annual sports meet. I would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to all participants, guests and the sport committee. This event speaks for the commitment and reverence that all of you in the school hold for the sporting activities.
Certainly, each of you will put your skills and talents at immeasurable display against your opponents from other teams but I must hasten to encourage you to also make the most wonderful opportunity by showcasing your athletic talents in the spirit of true sportsmanship and comradeship.
Let me preface my speech by sharing the essence of sport in our daily lives. Sport teaches pupils to involve in a competition for the desire to win which would push them to find ways to improve themselves and go forward step by step.
However, when you look back, it is not the desire to win that makes you keep working hard, the real incentive and momentum behind is the enjoyment of the process; working hard to accomplish something, happiness of victory after representation and earning glory for best performance.
Medals would be lost but the mental enjoyment of the process will remain forever. Going through the process of sport gives a valuable training of emotional quotient. Sport teaches pupils about failure merely as a natural process in the road to victory. When you first loose in a competition, you need to cope with the frustration, learn to have persistence, stand up again, learn to do something step by step, face pressure, have confidence and time management which would all be useful in your professional lives.
What you are learning from school are mostly knowledge and various skills. You need good and strong emotional quotient or character platform to enable you make use of the learned knowledge and skills efficiently in society.
Through sports, pupils learn to become more confident, resilient and persevering. Besides, this pupils also learn to appreciate the diversity amongst them which in turn helps to foster friendship and camaraderie.
Even within a sports team, one will find members who have different abilities which a coach will identify and harness to give the team the best overall chance of winning.
The synergistic contribution of the whole team raises the team to a higher level. In short, the experience of sport offers wonderful opportunities for teaching the value of diversity and teamwork as pupils learn through these experience to complement and support one another.
Beside, being opportune platforms for learning to appreciate diversity, team work and other aspects of character development, sport is an aspect of national development.
I think some will dispute that sports make you strong, healthy and teaches us to accept defeat and celebrate victory. These lessons later become building blocks of success in life.
But you can hardly achieve all of these if you do not have the moral support of your parents and community as a whole. Thus, the role of the parents should include not only educational support to their children but also being the bastion of their motivation in carrying out a healthy sporting engagement, a process which helps in refining, melting and moulding the pupils into fine gentlemen and ladies the country will rely on in the nearest future. I urge the school administration to continue to enrich the pupils experience through sports.
As I end my address this afternoon, I wish to announce that the I.K. and Edith Foday Memorial Foundation has donated a trophy worth one million Leones for the best house that will emerge first in all competition, one year tuition fee each to the best 100 meters senior and junior girls.
Indeed, this annual sports meet will play a significant role in raising your schools sporting profile. I entreat you all to respect the rules of the competition and the authorities defining and implanting the rules for an enjoyable, disciplined, peaceful and memorable 2017 sports meet.
I wish you all a very successful meet and I am delighted to officially declare the 2017 annual sports meet open.
Thank you very much
Julius I.K. Foday