– Athletics Boss tells Stakeholders
The brilliance of Liberian track and field athletes in international competitions in 2018 has shifted the standing of the country and, in acknowledgment of these improvements, the president of the Liberia Athletics Federation (LAF) Mulbah Z. Zaza announced that “Liberia is no longer a mere participant but contender.”
Speaking at the 60th Congress of the LAF on Saturday, November 24 at the Liberia National Olympic Committee’s (LNOC) headquarters on Randall Street, president Zaza said the country can boast of several medals won by ‘Team Liberia’ in track and field.
“The bronze at the African Senior Athletics Championship, which was held in August in Asaba, Nigeria, has placed Liberia among countries with medals,” Mr. Zaza said. “There were several other medals won at different competitions. We also won two medals (silver and bronze) at the ECOWAS U20 Athletics Championship in June 2018 in Cape Coast, Ghana.”
He added: “This should signal to us that West Africa, Africa, and the World have started looking at us now from a winning perspective. We are no longer mere participants but contenders,” Zaza said.
“My congress delegates, let us join hands and work together for the success of athletics as this is not about a person but Liberia. Whatever we do out there, the reflection is on Liberia. Let’s build on what we have for a better Liberia,” he added.
The reading and adoption of the 2017 Congress minutes and 2018 financial and activities reports were subsequently adopted.
Also during the Congress, delegates unanimously voted to adopt the proposed 2019 Budget in the tune of US$59,838.34 including the 2019 Calendar of Events and resolution.
In the upcoming year’s calendar of events, there will be a refresher workshop for sports journalists.
The LAF Vice President for Technical Affairs, Frederick Krah, said the training is intended to provide sports journalists the basics in ‘Run, Jump and Throw’ of Track and Field as well as the jargons, analysis, and evaluation of athletes considering their ‘Finishing Time.’
Other events include the Armed Forces Day 10K Run in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County; the Inter School Championship in Montserrado County; the Tubmanburg 10km Run, in Bomi County; the National Time Trial in Montserrado County; National Club Championship in Montserrado County and the National University Championship in Montserrado or Bong County.
Mr. Krah stressed that the LAF is the most participatory sports organization in the country when it comes to international and national competitions, and support from the government which has been lacking would increase the contending spirit of the federation.
“We need at least US$50,000 from the government,” Krah said.
Meanwhile, according to head coach Samuel Cooper, besides the organizing of the national or local competitions, athletes are expected to represent the country in five international competitions, including World Cross Country Championship in Aarhus, Denmark; All Africa Games in Casablanca, Morocco; IAAF World Senior Championship in Doha, Qatar; and the Sierra Leone Boxing Day.