What better way to kick-start the celebration of the Day of the African Child for Liberia’s future football stars than President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf paying them a visit at the Monrovia Football Academy, where scores of Liberian kids are receiving soccer and academic education.
At the Blue Field, the headquarters of the Academy, President Sirleaf, early Thursday morning, interacted with the soccer students, both males and females, while at the same time promising her personal and government’s support to the program.
After the greetings and pleasantries with the staff and students of the academy, she said, “I’m very pleased to be here and see how you are doing. We will try to see how we can give help to the sponsors of this program, which we feel is very important for you. Our personal and government support are needed in such an endeavor, and we will see how we can be a part of this process.”
Turning to the CEO and his staff, the President said, “Maybe we can make the program grow beyond these kids to include others that are in the other 14 counties.” She told the kids to play and be good in order to become productive citizens of the country.
The President’s visit was in response to an invite extended to her by the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Will Smith, an American, to see how the kids are faring.
The Blue Field is also home to one of the nation’s emerging football power houses, Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) Football Club, owned by the President’s son, Mr. Robert Sirleaf.
CEO Smith lauded the President for her visit and said she will always be called upon when the need arises, and told the President that MFA provides the brightest and most talented Liberian boys and girls with a life-altering experience by offering an affordable quality of life.
The Academy currently has 28 students, and according to Mr. Smith, the number will increase to 60 next year.
Meanwhile, the President also visited the BYC senior team where she was received upon arrival by her son Robert and president of the team, Sekou Konneh. She lauded the team for representing the country abroad and contributing to the development of Liberian youths. Forming part of the President’s delegation on the trip were Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe and Youth and Sports Minister, Charles N’tow.
On October 12, 2015, the Monrovia Football Academy (MFA) opened its doors to 17 boys and 12 girls, aged 9-11, to provide them with quality education, professional football coaching, good nutrition, and life skills. Football training takes place at BYC Football Club’s Blue Field and the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, while classes are held just across the street, in classrooms owned by the Conquerors Christian Foundation Academy.