By Foday Moriba Conteh
Committed as always in the rolling out of impactful and memorable gestures under the portfolio of its Corporate Social Responsibility mainly geared towards enhancing attitudinal change as well as promoting healthy competition amongst school children and develop their minds not only in the pursuit of academic excellence but also to fairly compete in the game of squash, NP(SL)Ltd, on the 23rd& 24th March, 2023 respectively, handed over newly refurbished Squash Facilities to the St. Edwards Secondary School and the Sierra Leone Grammar School.
Speaking on behalf of the Sierra Leone Squash Association, the Public Relations Officer of the Association, Sosthenes Smith expressed appreciation to NP (SL) Ltd for undertaking the refurbishment of the Squash Facilities which he described as a laudable venture towards the development and promotion of Squash in the country.
He disclosed how the Association is recognized by the National Olympic Committee and the National Sports Authority, adding that as part of the goal of the President of the Sierra Leone Squash Association is to ensure that Squash is introduced at the school level in the country, the Association has been working with Physical Health Education teachers in over eleven different schools in the country.
The PRO further applauded NP (SL) Ltd for upgrading squash facilities in schools which, he said, had made it possible for the game of Squash to be played. He appealed to the petroleum marketing company, on behalf of the Association, to support the actualization of the President of the Association’s goal in ensuring that the game of Squash is be played by school pupils in the country.
“I want NP (SL) Ltd to work with the Association in order to sponsor the training of school pupils and provide them with Squash equipment. I also want to conclude by appealing to Heads of Schools and Pupils to make good use of these facilities provided for you all,” he maintained.
He informed the gathering that the Association and NP(SL)Ltd are planning to host a one day inter secondary school Squash tournament for pupils in the country.
The Principal of St. Edwards Secondary School, Freddie R. Wyse said as a school they are so proud to receive the newly refurbished Squash facility. He commended NP (SL) Ltd for the laudable venture of which he assured the company that a Management Team will be put in place to oversee the proper use of the facility.
He said that as a school they are looking forward to inter house and inter secondary school competitions in order to promote the game of Squash among pupils.
The Chief Executive Officer of NP (SL) Ltd, Amb. Kobi Walker who addressed the gathering at the St. Edwards Secondary School said as a company they are very pleased to re-dedicate, re-launch and hand over the newly refurbished Squash facility which he said was constructed by the company in 2012.
He said that the company decided to establish these Squash facilities in schools because it was in schools in 1830 when technically the game of Squash was born at Harrow School in the UK.
The Chief Executive Officer said that the refurbishment of the facilities is to enhance attitudinal change and promote healthy competitions amongst school children and to develop their minds not only to pursue academic excellence but to fairly compete in the game of Squash.
The Acting Principal of the Sierra Leone Grammar School, Rev. Pinkley Wilhem, also used the opportunity to commend NP (SL) Ltd for the refurbishment of the facility at their school.
He said games and sports bring friendship and peace to a nation of which he encouraged all to put aside differences and come together in order to support the game of Squash in the country.
Delivering his keynote address at the Sierra Leone Grammar School, the General Manager NP (SL) Ltd, Saidu Mansaray, said that the facilities at the various schools will promote education, health and sport, adding that over the past 10 years the company has endeavored to support education, health and sport through the building of schools, WASH facilities and Squash Facilities.
He said that the company has built Squash Facilities at the Sierra Leone Grammar School, Fourah Bay College, St. Edwards Secondary School, and Bo Government Secondary School.
The General Manager also expressed the view that the idea of building Squash facilities in various educational institutions is to provide students and non-students within respective communities an alternative to other traditional sports.
“As a company we believe that combining sport and education can help students develop self-motivation that will enable them to do things on their own while encouraging and promoting unity, diversity and harmony among pupils,” he stated.
Saidu Mansaray encouraged pupils to take advantage of the opportunity in order to develop their minds and bodies using sport as a conduit as they continue to engage each other with peace, love and unity.
He informed the gathering that in fulfilling the company’s tradition the company is proud to inform all that they are launching their annual Squash competition for schools and colleges in which winners will be rewarded with motivational prizes such as medals, trophies and scholarships.
The delivery of vote of thanks were done by pupils of both schools during which they expressed gratitude and appreciation to NP (SL) Ltd for the facilities followed by short exhibition march passes by the pupils.