By Duannah Siryon
As the October 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections draw closer, Liberian athletes across the globe are ensuring that their fight for a sustainable sports development in the country is not forgotten by political aspirants.
This is why an array of current and ex-Liberian athletes will arrive in Atlanta, Georgia-USA from June 23rd-25th for a program to commemorate the 4th annual reunion of Liberian athletes.
Among ex-stars expected are: Mark Gibson, Ahmadu Sarnor, George Harris, Ansu Sirleaf, Isaiah Lincoln, Christine Williams, and Alston Wolo.
Others are Sarkpa Nyanseor, James Weah, Albert Nah, Simon Mattar, Jefferson Doe, Eric Dennis, Lewis Crayton, Dominic Brapoh, Nestor Sandy, Clarence Weah, Al-Jerome Chede, Mozart Dennis, Annie Sirleaf, Dash Freeman, Isaiah Lincoln, Lydia Gibson, Wiah Siply, Francis Mayango Jallah and many others.
This year’s reunion will include track and field, football (soccer), basketball, and kickball matches.
According to the itinerary, Friday June 23rd is the arrival of guests from various parts of the globe which ends with a Meet and Greet starting at the 9:00 pm. The location is at the Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center: 4651 Britt Road, Norcross – GA 30093.
On Saturday, July 24th, Executive Plenary meeting will be held from 8:30 am at the Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation. Sporting activities begin at 1:00 pm at the Lucky Shoal Park Community sports ground.
The Dinner Ball & Honoring ceremony takes place at the Monte Carlo Event Hall: 2077 Beaver Ruin Road, Norcross on June 24.
The activities will be climaxed with a Farewell Cookout at 2:00 pm at the Bryson Park: 5075 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn.
Many former players and sports administrators who had not seen one another for many years will be present to rekindle their old friendships. “This is a real reunion of friends,” an invitee said during a telephone interview, “meeting old friends at such an anniversary program is something I am looking forward to.”
One idea that is gaining recognition among Liberians is the LAR’s objective of bringing Liberian athletes and sports enthusiasts together, through available contacts, to re-commit themselves in creating awareness to reawaken the interests of sports development in Liberia. In doing so, LAR is working with her Liberian coordinators to develop a new attitude towards athletes so that those coming after them will be able to make full commitment to the highest level of excellence in the world.
In December 2015, the LAR, through its Liberia coordinator, Jonathan Armah Baxter, quickly intervened by providing emergency medical and food assistance to two of Liberia’s former coaches: “Experience” Sayon Davies and Joker Wreaker.
The Liberian Athletes Reunion (LAR) is a philanthropic organization with the primary objective of bringing athletes, sports promoters, sports managers, entertainers and sports enthusiasts together annually to reunite and recognize deserving athletes and fans who have contributed or continue to contribute to the development of sports in Liberia. The organization, therefore, invites Liberian athletes in different disciplines to its yearly reunion. The LAR also seeks to work with all organizations that represent former and current athletes.
Those honored at past Liberian Athletes Reunion celebrations are:
2014 REUNION IN PHILADELPHIA
SOCCER – Garretson Sackor, Borbor Gaye, Dr. Charles (Babe Ray) Wolful, Jadeh Williams, Tarpeh Roberts, Josiah N. Johnson, and Philip Robertson.
MALE BASKETBALL–Nathaniel Seto, William Bill Flowers, Leon Clark, Tarr Harris and Charles Wordsworth.
FEMALE BASKETBALL – Andrea Kiahon-Knowlden, Linda Collins, Dawn Tolbert, Gbour Wilson, Alice Holder Anderson, Dr. Ophelia Weeks, and Florence Kamar.
TABLE TENNIS – Joseph Sherman, Charles Collins, K. N. A. Best, and George Dunbar.
SPONSOR/TEAM PRESIDENTS – Sam Burnette, Thelma George, Assa Maddy Kaba, and Johnathan Mason.
TRACK & FIELD – Joseph Narmah, Dr. George Johnson, and Mr. Edward Kai.
SPORTS MEDIA AND BROADCASTING – Mozart Dennis, Jerry Wion, J. Garsuah Yamento and Herbert Grigsby.
2015 REUNION IN MINNESOTA
SOCCER – Benedict Wesseh, Sarkpah Nyanseor, and Solomon Sipply
MALE BASKETBALL – Alston Wolo and Jonathan Cummings
FEMALE BASKETBALL – Sarah Cooper
SUPPORTER – Cecelia Nyonteh and Lydia Gibson-Jones
MEDIA – Joe Morris
TRACK & FIELD – Kelvin Soko
MEDICINE – J. Clarence Yaskey
2016 REUNION IN MINNESOTA
SOCCER – Mark Gibson, Albert Nah, and Philip Klah
BASKETBALL – Rachel Nebo
MANAGER/SUPPORTER – Isaac Gee
MEDICINE – Mazola Gizzie