Each of the 15 Counties, through their County Sports Coordinators, beginning today (Tuesday) at 9am, will receive a check for L$1,740,000 (equivalent to US$20,000) for technical and logistic preparations, Deputy Sports Minister Henry B. Yonton, Jr. has announced.
The four host counties, Grand Bassa, Nimba, Margibi and Grand Gedeh will also receive checks (undisclosed) for renovation and technical support for the holding of the preliminary rounds.
Deputy Sports Minister Yonton said the delay in giving-out of the funds was to allow other counties (names withheld) reactivate their Liberian dollars accounts.
Minister Yonton made the announcement over the weekend at the end of a two-day capacity building and information sharing workshop held at the Right to Play Hope Recreation and Resource Center in the King Gray Community, opposite the SKD Sports Complex.
The training brought County Sports Coordinators, Monitors, Statisticians, Referees and Staff from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
He said the checks would only be given to recognize County Sports Coordinators or official designated persons from the counties.
Some of the recognized County Sports Coordinators who attended the workshop included Gborboe Gblinwon – Nimba; Borbor Myers – Maryland; Abrahmah L. McGill – Bong; F. Samuel Dweh – River Gee; Richard Kumah, Jr. – Sinoe and Clarence B. Kollie – Gbarpolu.
Others were William Wangbah – Grand Kru; Arthur B. Jimmy – Grand Bassa; Anthony Papie Sumo – Montserrado; Sundifu V. Massaley – Grand Cape Mount; Piaff Ayres – Grand Gedeh; Stephen C. Kollie – Bomi and Evan Somah – River Cess.
During the workshop which ran from Thursday to Friday, Mr. J. Bryant McGill – the Chief of Office Staff of the Deputy Sports Minister gave an overview of the National County Sports Meet and said that at the end of the tournament there will be first and second place trophies and medals, including cash awards to deserving players and an overall trophy.
Bryant said there will also be awards to eminent Liberians for their contributions to sports, peace and development.
He mentioned that there will be a national launch of the 2015/2016 County Meet in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County on Saturday, December 12, and subsequently other regional launch at host cities, Sanniquellie, Kakara and Zwedru.
“The host counties are responsible to provide an enabling environment for visiting teams, match and games officials, staff of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and spectators,” Mr. McGill said.
Mr. Kesselee K. Kanneh of the MYS’ Sports Bureau lectured on the newly adopted Code of Conduct for assigned MYS Staff, County Officials and Match officials.
The Code of Conduct amongst other things deals with ethics and conduct of each and every assigned MYS Staff, county officials and match officials participating in the 2015/2016 County Meet.
Bribes, misconduct and bad officiating top the Code of Conduct.
The MYS Technical Sports Director, Kelvin Sebwe ran through the Rules and Regulations of the 2015/2016 County Meet, while the Assistant Sports Minister spoke on leadership.
The National County Sports Meet is being organized by the Youth and Sports Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and consultations with sporting associations under the theme ‘Liberia’s rising through sports.’
The County Sports Meet, first hosted in 1956, is an annual sporting festival, primarily as a platform for national reconciliation and unity; bring together all 15 counties to participate in four disciples.
It may be recalled that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her last annual message said County Meet offers more than just entertainment, providing renewed possibilities for healing wounds and burying all individuals and personal differences to rally behind their respective counties.
“We must therefore use the occasion of the National County Sports Meet to re-dedicate and re-commit ourselves from the county level to a national goal of sustainable unity, reconciliation and accelerated socio-economic integration and development,” the President said.