SSNOC Secretary General Dr. Tong Chor (L), President Eng. Juma Stephen Lugga (C) and Morjan Gismala, 2nd VP in a press conference at HQs in Nimra Talata (photo by David Mono Danga):
By David Mono Danga
The South Sudan National Olympic Committee (SSNOC) has revealed that it is preparing to hold national Olympics competitions to identify talented athletes and players to represent the country in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
The committee said the competition shall encompass players from all over the country, in order to get talented players irrespective of their backgrounds.
In a press conference at the main office in Hai Nimra Talata on Monday, the President of the Committee, Eng. Juma Stephen Lugga told journalists that the preparations ahead of Tokyo2020 is going on well with Japan offering to camp four athletes and a coach for a year.
The Olympic committee said it is targeting individual players such as athletes, boxers, taekwondo, wrestling, tennis, karate among others.
Eng. Lugga who headed his delegation to Tokyo for the General Assembly said the panel also passed an international athletes declaration that outlines what the players are supposed to do and what they are supposed to avoid.
The Secretary-General of the Committee, Dr. Tong Chor Malek revealed that the Japanese town of Mumbasi has offered to host the players who would represent South Sudan in this year’s Olympics.
“We need champions. To get champions we need to find those players in the states to have a chance because we don’t want to limit ourselves to Juba only,” Dr. Chor said.
He added that Juba alone cannot represent the whole of South Sudan. He said South Sudan is likely to also have representations in categories such as Basketball, Volleyball and Handball. Most categories will be revealed in June next year after all qualifications are done.
As part of preparations, the SSNOC said South Sudan will participate in the upcoming all African Games in June 2019 and also the Rwanda Genocide memorial games that features the Zone 5 countries from 2nd – 7th April, 2019.
Jica will also help train the four athletes and a coach to spend one year in the Japanese town on Mombasi as a preparation for Tokyo 2020.
The national Olympics Committee also seeks athletes to represent South Sudan in the upcoming Winter Olympics Games.
The Winter Olympic Games is a major international sporting event held once every four years for sports practiced on snow and ice. The secretary general says it is very difficult for the committee to find players to represent the country in the competition since we don’t have snow in South Sudan.
Dr. Chor appealed to the public to identify South Sudanese citizens leaving abroad to represent the country in the Winter Olympics.
He also urged the media to use the platform to scout for players to participate in the competition.