Former Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) Secretary General, Mr. Akosa Ike, has commended SWAL members for a successful mini-congress last Saturday at Mr. Mustapha Raji’s Farm, Brewerville, outside Monrovia.
Mr. Ike, who was instrumental in the further development of SWAL by bringing in young and progressive journalists under then president, the late John Taweh, said the increasing number of sports writers (75, but 40 were at the congress) has encouraged him.
“I’m satisfied that today many young people are in the profession,” Mr. Ike said, “unlike the past when we had a manageable handful of people.”
He said the increasing number of people in the association would nevertheless create problems in the quality of their work.
“But overall I am satisfied that SWAL is developing faster with aggressive sports writers and broadcasters, which is good for the body,” Mr. Ike, who is presently the publisher of The West African Pilot, said.
He called on sports writers to remember their responsibilities, which are: promote athletes, educate fans as well as entertain them.
He paid a glowing tribute to his colleagues who are still around and providing support to the association, with specific mention of Omari Jackson, the first secretary general of the association, former SWAL president Malcolm Joseph, and the current administration led by Mr. Roland Mulbah.
“I am happy to see my friend OJ (Omari Jackson) who is still with the association, and I think that is the right thing to do,” Mr. Ike said.
He regretted that many sports disciplines are not covered as it was done in the past. “What happens to basketball, track and field, taekwondo, table tennis, boxing and others?”
Mr. Ike urged sports journalists to widen their coverage since there are a sizeable number of athletes who are playing other sports.
He, meanwhile, commended SWAL for the adoption of its constitution, which was the intent of the one-day mini-congress.