The Government of Liberia (GoL), through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, has congratulated Athletic Team Liberia for representing the country and clenching two medals in the U-20 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Athletics Championship.
During the recent ECOWAS U-20 Athletics Championship, held from June 20 – 24, 2018, at the Cape Coast Stadium in Accra, Ghana, Liberia’s male shot put Charles Gbelia ahead with Silver Medal, while female shot put Lawrina Cooper won a Bronze Medal.
Athletics Team Liberia comprised of Ms. Lawrina Cooper (Shot Put) and Ms. Nancy Saah (100 meters, 200 meters and Long Jump) and Andrew Sele Kpehe (1500 meters and 5000 meters). Others include Sunnyboy Barcon (100 meters, 200 meters and High Jump); Charles Gbelia (Shot Put and 100 meters) and Coach Ernest Zeigler.
Youth and Sports Minister D. Zoegar Wilson and Assistant Minister for Sport, James Toe, in separate remarks yesterday, extended profound gratitude to the team in the face of financial constraints, but promised to support sporting federations and associations, which are actively involve or engage in programs and activities that will fly the country colors.
Minister Wilson made the statement when the Liberia Athletics Federation (LAF) formally presented Athletic Team Liberia to him at his Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex offices in Paynesville, while Mr. Toe spoke shortly after the presentation ceremony at his office at the same venue.
“I want to say a big thank you for your participation and to the two medalists for the job well done. At least you represented us and brought home something. We will do our best to see if we can give more support to those sporting associations or federations that deserve it, like the Liberia Athletics Federation,” Mr. Zoegar said.
“We want to encourage the athletes to exhibit love and passion for the sports and go to school.”
He added, “when we were playing for Barrolle and the Lonestar, we also did shot put, and represented the University of Liberia to whip Cuttington University.”
“Also, when we were playing for the Lone Star, as your are doing, the late President Samuel K. Doe offered all the players scholarships to attend any university in the country, it was only three players, who made use of the scholarship, which included me, Isaiah Lincoln and Solomon Joe,” Zoegar said.
“The current Commerce Minister, Wilson Tarpeh, who was the president of the Agriculture Bank at that time, was spearheading the players scholarship program.”
He however said one day as former shot put champion, will challenge the current shot put champion Charles Gbelia in a competition.
The Minister said as a new government, which focuses on pro-poor agenda, “we will also try to support athletes to go to school.”
Mr. Toe said the presentation of the medals to the ministry is the first since his appointment, and encouraged the LAF to focus on training for the athletes to get more silvers and bronzes.
“We will try as a government to support you to get more than silvers and bronzes,” Min. Toe assured.
Mulbah Zaza, LAF president, said the federation hopes to get the needed support from the government to commence intensive training, so that the country can get more than bronzes and silvers.