The longest serving assistant minister for youth and sports, J. Murvee Gray, now heads the Montserrado County Unity Party (UP) Sports Committee. He was appointed by Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff on Monday in Monrovia. Gray’s appointment was due to his exceptional organizational skills in sports management, including the successful hosting of the annual County Sports Meet, over the years. Until his appointment Gray was the head of the Boakai Athletic League (BALE), organized to encourage young people to emulate Vice President Joseph N. Boakai’s commitment to Liberian and humility in his endeavors.
It is reported that Ambassador Boakai, from an extremely poor family, had the misfortune to take on the world with God as his comforter. He showed a great deal of commitment by setting his eyes on positive things in life that in the end catapulted him to greater achievements in life. Like the difficulties that beset Ambassador Boakai’s upbringing, many Liberian youths find themselves in a similar situation; and the Boakai Athletic League (BALE) encouraged young Liberians to put their trust in God while focusing on helping to develop their physical and mental skills to build their country. “Think Liberia, Love Liberia and Build Liberia,” is a slogan reported to have been Ambassador Boakai’s focus, even during the most difficult periods of his young life.
Gray was appointed to the position of assistant minister in 2006 and throughout the years he has planned, supervised and managed and promoted sports and young people. With his new position, Minister Gray is charged to organize and promote sports among the youth in Montserrado County. He is to work along with Liberia’s one time Zico, Ezekiel Doe, who played for St. Joseph’s Warriors and later Invincible Eleven in the 1980s. Mr. Doe was nicknamed Zico after his mentor Arthur Antunes Coimbra, known as Zico. Zico played for Brazil as an attacking midfielder and later became a coach. He was the player known back then as the ‘White Pele.’ Like his mentor, Ezekiel Doe was a creative playmaker with excellent skills. Also on Minister Gray’s team is Anthony Papie Sumo, a one-time goal-hunter for Invincible Eleven; Kelvin Sebwe, one of the greatest midfielders in Liberia’s soccer history; and J. Yourvor Kollie.
Minister Gray told the Daily Observer yesterday that upon his appointment he pledged his commitment to work to attain the objective for which he was appointed. Gray has dealt with young people and he knows how to reach their heart. As an instructor in physical education, psychology and sociology at the Smythe Institute of Management and Technology, he trains students in the various sporting disciplines. Among several academic laurels, Minister Gray holds a BA degree from the University of Liberia in sociology and management. He has been a soccer coach, athletics coach and served as vice president at the Liberia Track & Field Federation.