The Sierra Leone Tug of War Association, in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Mas-Wrestling Association and the Sierra Leone Kabadi Association, was formally launched on Sunday, September 24, 2023, at the Aberdeen beach in front of Kallon Car Park. The Kabadi association has been rapidly gaining popularity among weight and power lifters since its inception over a decade ago. The Tug of War and Mas-Wrestling associations are making concerted efforts to attract young people and keep them engaged in physical fitness.
The well-attended launch and demonstration program was chaired by sports journalist Alexander Thullah, aka African Teacher. High-profile figures in sports attended, including representatives from the Sports Ministry, the National Sports Authority (NSA), the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, the Sierra Leone Police, and presidents of sports associations, including Mohamed Abdul Turay, president of Sierra Leone Aquatics; the president of the Sierra Leone Taekwondo Association, Oness Johnson; Chief Shamsu Mustapha, president of the Sierra Leone Badminton Association; SLAJ's Secretary General Alhaji Manika Kamara; and former Leone Stars Team Manager Christian Dauda, who is the chairman of Brookfields United SC.
Statements were made during the launch by the president of the Mas-Wrestling Association, Noel K. Horton; Kerifa Thoronka, the secretary general of the Sierra Leone Tug of War association; Steven Kelfala, the director of participation and sustainable sports at the NSA; Momodu Alpha from the Ministry of Sports; SWASAL's president Sahr Morris Jnr; Major Kanu of RSLAF; and the chairman of the Sierra Leone Police Sports Committee, Dauda Solomon Conteh.
The three-in-one launch was culminated by a demonstration of athletes from the various associations and the presentation of certificates to the deserving athletes who will be representing the country in international competitions. The Tug of War Association will represent Sierra Leone in the World Championship 2023 slated for Ireland from November 18 to 20, while the Mas-Wrestling Association will also compete in the World Championship in the USA from November 2 to 5. The Kabadi Association will participate in India in late December.
The launch of these three associations is a positive development for sports in Sierra Leone. It shows that the country is committed to developing a wide range of sports and providing opportunities for athletes to compete at the international level.