Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Is Parade Field in Freetown Being Sold?

Freetown's Historic Parade Field
Very reliable sources in Freetown the capital of Sierra Leone have informed the Segbwema Blog correspondent in the city that there are plans currently underway by the All Peoples Congress government to sell the Parade Field Grounds in Central Freetown to a group of Fula Businessmen.

Most youths who grew up in or around Central Freetown would know the parade field, located behind tower hill towards the direction of Mount Aureol and in the geographical vicinity of of the Circular Road Cemetery, the Central Statistics Office, Model and Albert Academy schools.
Minister Paolo Conteh

Parade Field is a crucial part of the historical legacy of sports in Serra Leone. Many outstanding players in Sierra Leone honed their skills on the Parade Field before they were ready for the big leagues at the Country's National Stadium. Currently, with the rampant sale of land in Freetown, this is the only major field left for the entire central and some western parts of Freetown. When we were students at Fourah Bay College, most of our games with the second division teams in Freetown were played at Parade, as it is commonly known.
Local Team at Parade Field

The land on which the Parade Field is situated is reportedly owned by the defense ministry and our sources inform us that the government, through the Minister of Defense, Rtd Major Pallo Conteh, intends to sell the land to a group of Fula businessmen. which would be a terrible disservice to youth development.

Being the only major field left in that area of Freetown, the Parade Field is a very busy football field for children, youths and lower division teams in the area. If sold to businessmen this would be a substantial blow to to sports development in the area, as many of the great football players in central Freetown develop and perfect their skills at parade.
Kids Training at Parade

For a government that prides itself on youth development, the sale of Parade would be a terrible mistake. The President Dr.  Ernest Bai Koroma is always stating how he views the youth as his base and goes out of the way to express great concern for the youths who he wants to make a priority in his second term. The President should therefore not let Minister Pallo Conteh sell this land at all, as that would be a terrible injustice to the powerless youths in the area.
President Ernest Bai Koroma

The source informs us that the negotiations are not yet finalized, but given the many dubious land deals that characterize Sierra Leone and the strength of the rumors, he believes that only direct intervention of the president would now stop the sale. We hope this rumored land sale will not be true as it will adversely affect future football development in the country.


Anonymous said...

My God ! I hope someone lets the President know about this. Sometime ago I recruited players for Sierra Fisheries from the Parade grounds. I hope the President intervenes.

Leslie Koroma said...

You are absolutely right Sheku ... this will be a great disservice to youth engagement and development as well as grassroots sports development in the country, and for a man like Palo who is a former athlete himself he needs to check himself before he makes such an unpopular and destructive move....

Anonymous said...

Good job bringing it to light but how about people organize a petition instead of just letting it go and complaining. They listened about Annie Walsh.They can't possibly be getting that much for it. They'll sell it, chap the money and by next year, won't have anything to show for it. Please leave the land be and develop it into a true sports field for the kids if you are just itching to do something with it. I still have fond memories from renting bikes after school over there as a kid.