By Bida Elly David
Lawmakers at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly this week started physical training as they prepare for the East African Community (EAC) inter-parliamentary games and sports competition to kick off in Juba in December.
The East African community inter-parliamentary sports games competition was initiated by the parliamentarians from the East African member countries as an initiative aimed at strengthening political and parliamentary ties between members of the parliament within the bloc.
The competition was segmented into various areas consisting of football, basketball, volleyball among many others as part and parcel of the categories to be played in the due cause of time.
Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday during their first training, Hon. Paul Yoane Bonju, the Chairperson for the East African Community Media publicity and the captain of South Sudan football wing for the competition expressed their full readiness to face any of their opponents without fear or favour.
He said the training they have started yesterday was a clear symbol to move undefeated as they will be facing any giant team from the East African Community member Countries.
He added that the multiple turn up of the parliamentarians for the first training session defined their readiness and potential to lift the trophy without any compromise.
“This is the beginning of exercises of the members of parliament in the R-TNLA with our staff preparing for the East African community parliamentary games. All the parliaments from the EAC bloc consisting of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi will send their members here in December. We are trying now to set the mood by actually having the members to begin the exercise. Those who will be going for football, volleyball, basketball should ensure much training to face the tag of war coming between our opponents,” he said.
Bonju emphasized the importance of the competition to the citizens of South Sudan saying they will see their Members of Parliament (MPs) competing with their colleagues from other countries and urged them to strongly show their support as they train for that day.
He further stated that the coming competition shall only be for the national parliamentarians as they prepare to include the state legislature in future strategies.
He underscored that the competition shall be one of the ways to strengthen bilateral ties among the EAC countries in the areas of politics, economy as well as culture for their common good adding that political debates are not the only ways to link people up but also extra curricula activities.
“This competition is one way to bring economic prosperity and cement relationship among the people of the region that is the East Africa Community”.
“You don’t need to know yourselves while debating political issues but also involve in sports activities. Sport is the easiest and the surest way to know yourselves deeper because although some of you are going to be defeated. At the moment, the competition is particularly for the members of the national legislative assembly,” he said.
Another MP Hon. Paul David, a member for sports specialized committee and a player belonging to the basketball team pointed out their readiness upon starting their training for their physical fitness.
“I belong to the basketball segment. It is our first time to start training today and we are going to make more. We are making this training such that when time comes for the competition, we shall be able to perform to the best of our level. If you don’t make enough training, you cannot do anything and with this, we in the basketball wing are doing thorough training,” he said.