The Keynote Speaker of the 36th-anniversary celebration of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) is calling for the creation of a special ministry to focus on sports.
Members of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia on October 14, 2022, gathered at the SKD Basketball GYM in Paynesville to celebrate the 36th anniversary of their institution under the theme: “Pushing the Liberian Sports agenda with kickball, football, and basketball in perspective”.
According to Ambassador Chris Weah, Sr, the creation of the Ministry of Sports and increment in budgetary support towards sports will play a pivotal role in the improvement of sports across the country, adding that, the sporting sector has been marginalized and characterized as a low priority in the national development agendas which makes sports considerably a lesser contributing partner.
The Stages FC President acknowledged that many Liberians are not attending their own sports matches due to less importance attached to them because of insufficient budgetary allocation for sports in the country.
“It is well understood and perceived that sport is a non-serious business. For Liberians to once again gain interest in sports there has to be a significant financial investment in the development of natural talents that will attract the attention of sports lovers and policymakers in our country.”
“I am, in this manner calling on the national legislature to enact a law that creates the Ministry of sports as a single Ministry with the responsibility to draft, monitor, and proffers Sports development agendas and policies for the development of sports in Liberia and the attraction of Liberians to sports,” Chris Weah said”.
He, however, said to have high-caliber sports athletes including people living with disabilities who are talented to participate in sporting activities at the national and international levels, the government through the legislature must increase budgetary allotment to ensure that athletes have quality facilities for sports across the country.
“To successfully rally Liberians to support sports, there is a need for grass root participation in ensuring the availability of sporting infrastructure and materials and creating appropriate and adequate conditions for the growth of sports”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Sports Ministry currently functions in a parallel line with the Youth Ministry spearheaded its functionalities and activities by Minister, and ably assisted by the deputy sports minister and assistant Ministers.
It was created by an Act of the National Legislature in 1982 as the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Its mandate is to develop the social and national consciousness of Liberian youths, educating them to be ready morally and physically to answer the call of their country, initiate and develop plans and provide means and facilities to enable the youths of Liberia to perform public service and to accredit national youth and sports organization, federations, and associations.
For his part, the President of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia, Kolubah Zayzay said the leadership is anticipating conducting a workshop for its members as a means of being on top of their game.
The experienced sports journalist also voice out his frustration about the low turnout of members to grace their own occasion.
”It is unfortunate to see should a low turnout of our members to grace this occasion. In the past, it was very difficult to see the anniversary celebration of the sports writers association of Liberia, but when we took over a few years back, we decided to change the narratives by celebrating our anniversary, SWAL President said”.
“Again, the issue of conducting workshops for our members is cardinal because we want members of the sporting press to be on top of their game. Sports reporting is not only about sitting on the radio to read or to write a news script, but there are series of things involved which we want our members to be educated too, he concludes”.
Reported by: Sylvester