Former international football icon and now President, George M. Weah, says he would ‘expand sports’ across the country as one of his government’s four pillars of development, though he did not elaborate.
The president’s brief announcement to “Expand Sports” was made on Monday, January 29, in his first state of the nation’s address to the legislature at the William R. Tolbert Joint Chambers at the Capitol Building.
The development of sports in the country is the responsibility of the Ministry of Youth and Sports – the policy and implementing political arm of the government.
According to the Act that established the ministry, it is also responsible to formulate programs, construct sporting facilities, recommend subsidies for sporting associations, federations, and related sporting organizations as well as recommend a bilateral relationship that would help to expand sports in the country.
The President, who is also the Chief Patron of Sports, has the “obligation” to help the ministry to articulate its policies and expand sports through the erection of sporting facilities and the training of players, administrators and technicians.
According to the log of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Liberia has 21 sports: the development and promotion of the majority of the sporting codes, instead of only football, would be commendable.
The sporting codes include football, athletics, basketball, kickball, volleyball, table tennis, lawn tennis, golf, karate, Taekwondo, Wushu, boxing, handball, netball, cricket, among others.
Many sports enthusiasts say a successful national unity campaign will be more enduring if the Chief Patron of Sports uses sports as a medium.