The Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) has a responsibility to the Liberian society in several important areas that are necessary for improving our national development drive. The LNOC exists to ensure that, among other things, Liberian athletes participate in the quadrennial Olympic Games.
Though this year’s Olympic Games takes place in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro from August 5-21, there is still a question mark on Liberia’s participation; and if that happens, the LNOC will not receive financial benefits that Olympic Solidarity dishes out to all participating National Olympic Committees, as well as funds sent to NOCs for their athletes, who also participate in the games.
Of course, the International Olympic Committee, apart from the quadrennial Olympic Games, has six global activities that it owes to the world, which National Olympic Committees are charged with ensuring their fulfillment. They are: Sport for all; Peace through sport; Development through sport; Women in sport; Education through Sport and Sport and Environment.
These activities are based on Olympism – a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
Another important global activity is the Olympic Day Run, held annually in June for everyone who is able to join the local Olympic family to run for fun and happiness. On this date back in 1894, the modern Olympic Games were born. To celebrate the occasion, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) encourages everyone, everywhere, on or around 23 June – Olympic Day – to get active, under the leadership of all NOCs.
The promotion of peace and co-existence as part of the Olympic ideal places on the shoulders of all National Olympic Committees a responsibility to provide support, administrative and otherwise to national federations and association, the way to play and manage sports.
Which brings me to an important point: Daily Observer reporter Leroy M. Sonpon lll, in the Wednesday, May 4 edition, wrote an article about the leadership crisis that has affected five local sports federations and pleaded with the Ministry of Youth & Sports to take ownership of those organizations to ensure that the right things are done.
It is also important for the Liberia National Olympic Committee to make its contribution towards the solution of these crises that have affected basketball, lawn tennis, cycling, canoe, rowing and boxing that seems to exist because of inactivity.
Since these sports are Olympic sports, it makes sense for the LNOC to engage these disciplines to make the philosophy of the Olympic Movement clear to them. We must not and cannot allow those who are not prepared to use the universal principle of using sports to attain peace to undermine young people’s desire to play sport and contribute their share to making this world peaceful for all.