By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (De Monk)
Save the Children (Sierra Leone Programme) Tuesday morning officially presented the 2011-2012 Championship trophy to officials of the Sierra Leone Premier League Board (PLB) at the ngo’s office at Kingharman Road, Freetown.
The trophy is proudly supported by Save the Children’s EVERYONE Campaign, a key partner for the Sierra Leone Premier League which wraps up on July 22nd 2012.
Since the beginning of the season the Premier League, including all 14 teams, has delivered vital information on women and children’s health to football fans throughout the country. In particular, captains and coaches have called on men to play a role in women and children’s health because – “Mami en Pikin wel bodi na ol man business.’’ This is in support of the EVERYONE campaign, which seeks to ensure pregnant women, breast feeding mothers and children under five take advantage of the government’s Free Health Care service available in all governmental hospitals across Sierra Leone, and thereby reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in the country.
“For all those men out there reading the sports pages, listening to sport news on radio and attending Premier League matches it is your responsibility as a husband, fiance’, brother, and father, to ensure that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children under the age of 5, access Government health facilities for treatment which is free of charge,” said Ali Readhead, EVERYONE Campaign Manager, Save the Children, while presenting the giant trophy.
“This is great news for men; no longer do you have to pay to take your pregnant wife to the hospital to give birth, no longer do you have to pay to take your sick child to the clinic for treatment (as long as they are under 5). There is no reason to hesitate or delay when the services are free!”
With only a few weeks remaining for the Sierra Leone Premier League Competition, the trophy for the winning team will go on a tour of all the pitches hosting premier league matches, says PLB Chairman Victor Lewis.
However, the trophy will first be seen at the National Stadium on Wednesday at the match between Eastern Lions and Old Edwardians.
According to Readhead, Save the Children looks forward to coming together with the Premier League for the final award ceremony which is expected to take place in early August 2012. The ngo will also provide winners’ medals for the award ceremony.