Over the weekend, Henry Flomo became the first journalist and a member of the Sports Writers Association to be elected as a member of the Executive Committee (EC) of the Liberia Football Association (LFA).
Mr. Flomo told the Daily Observer in an interview yesterday that in his teenage years, he played volleyball (1986 to 1990) and then developed an interest in swimming but quit it in 1997.
“The death of a friend of mine caused me psychologically to leave swimming, but I was a good swimmer,” Flomo said.
While swimming, Flomo, dubbed “HF,” was also playing football and told the Daily Observer that he was a forward-right striker. “Living with my mother in Jallah Town, we were beaten to stop playing football, because they thought when playing football, we would not focus on our education,” he said.
He narrated that he stopped playing football, but because of the love for sports, he began to practice boxing.
“I became a boxer, and was between flyweight to bantamweight and then lightweight,” he said. “I participated in the Mano River Union Boxing tournament and was part of the National Boxing Team, in which I received US$150 as my monthly stipends from 1989-1992.
“I got injured in 1992 and left boxing, but I was a certified athlete from Olympic Solidarity and later I became a certified referee, judge, and a coach,” he said.
According to Mr. Flomo, after leaving boxing as an athlete, he continued to serve as a referee or a judge and a coach in the boxing federation.
“Because of an injury, I could not continue as a boxer and I started to do weightlifting and registered at the Newport Street Gym and subsequently became a member of the Liberia Weight Lifting Association,” Flomo explained. “I didn’t take it seriously like boxing, but l was training and had my own gym at home.”
Later Flomo said he took interest in journalism and in 1996 began practicing at ELBC. In 1998, he began to contribute sports news to the station and subsequently became assistant director of Sports News to Zoegar Jaynes, now deceased. Later, he became director of Sports News, when Mr. Jaynes went to the then Radio Veritas.
“Before Zoegar could leave, during the election of the Liberia National Olympic Committee, l supported Mr. Philipbert Browne against the continuity of Mr. Clemenceau Urey, while my boss was for Urey,” Flomo said.
Mr. Flomo was elected secretary general of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) in 1999 and resigned one year later to contest the presidency, which he won. He served from 2000 to 2002.
“I remained critical on the promotion and development of sports and in 2006 l left the ELBC,” Mr. Flomo said. “But through my commentaries, you could know l was still critical, writing to debunk the continuity of Cllr. Izetta Wesley as president of the Liberia Football Association which was published in local dailies.”
Mr. Flomo said in 2008, he was recruited by Team Bility, which later caused Mr. Musa Bility to be elected as an Executive Committee member of the Liberia Football Association in 2009 and then reelected in 2010. ”My appointment as Public Relations Officer or Communications Director of the LFA wasn’t a surprise because I worked for it,” Flomo said.
“I was at the LFA’s Blue House from March 2010 to October 15, 2015. l am happy to be back as an EC member.”
According to Mr. Flomo, as an EC member, he will support the LFA president’s agenda, but he will recommend four issues to be prioritized.
“Players’ welfare, improvement of the league with support from the government in terms of subsidy to clubs, the rebranding of communication and marketing to include installation of Social’s LFA TV and focus on the U-17 and U-20 national teams,” he said.
Meanwhile, in addition to Mr. Flomo, eight others were elected to the Executive Committee on April 14, while Sekou Konneh and Wilmot Smith were elected as Vice President for Administration and Operations respectively.
In the presidential election, Mr. George Solo got five votes, while Musa Shannon and Mustapha Raji got 13 and 16 votes respectively. The runoff between Mr. Shannon and Mr. Raji was halted because of a court’s injunction.