With 46 days until the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships, Liberia has formed a men’s 4×100 relay team. The hope is to be one of the 16 qualified teams present in London from August 4-13, 2017.
There are two ways to qualify for Worlds: (1) Top 8 teams from the 2017 IAAF World Relays and; (2) Top 8 best ranked teams at the end of the qualification period which is July 23, 2017.
On June 17, 2017 in Stockbridge, GA, the newly formed relay team tested their chemistry. Leading was Wellington Zaza who handed the baton off to second leg, Paul Selman. Next up was Akeem Sirleaf who passed it on to the anchor, Olympian, Emmanuel Matadi.
For their first time running together at a trial meet, the four athletes ran the relay in 40.80 seconds. The top 5 spots have been filled since the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas leaving 11 ranking positions up for grabs. Liberia will need to run under 39 seconds to secure a spot for Worlds. With additional practice meets, they are confident they can reach that mark and represent Liberia in London come August.
All four athletes take great pride in the opportunity to represent their native land, Liberia. To those aspiring to represent Liberia, the message from Matadi is to, “Trust the process” while Zaza says to, “Stay persistent.”
The team will be running at more trial meets to build upon what they have created. The next meet will be on June 24th, 2017 in Alabama.
Follow the 4×100 Relay team on their social media: Wellington Zaza @ripqw; Paul Selman @pspeedy03; Akeem Sirleaf @keem_james_6; and Emmanuel Matadi @matadi.
Featured image taken from FiftyFive.One (Daniel Mick)
FiftyFive.One, a Minnesota based soccer news platform, recently posted a story about Minneapolis City midfielder Martin Browne, Jr. In the article, Browne shares his extensive soccer journey from Liberia to Minnesota. The soccer player shares the pinnacle moment he received a call from the Liberia National Football Team coach, James Debbah, offering Browne a possible spot on the team.
“He gave me a call, he liked what he saw, and while he didn’t promise I’d get a chance to play, he said there was an opportunity with the games coming up.”
Martin Browne, Jr.
The article goes on to share a follow-up call from the Liberia National Football Team requesting Browne at the June 11, 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Zimbabwe. “It’s a blessing in disguise, happening now,” Browne said.
Click here to read the original article written by Kyle Eliason. Congratulations to Martin Browne, Jr. and best wishes to Liberia’s National Football Team the Lone Stars.
The Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex was built in 1986 and named after Liberia’s 21st President. As Liberia’s largest stadium, SKD sports complex has served many purposes from concerts to football games and holds a capacity of 35,000.
Renovation to the SKD sports complex was approved in 2013 and is finally complete. Pictures showcasing the new and improved stadium started circulating on May 17th. Among the improvements are increased VIP seating, a new lighting system, a digital scoreboard, a new track, and better restrooms.
Dedication of the updated complex has not been determined, but it is believed to occur in time for the West African Football Union tournament. Liberia is a possible host for the tournament in July.
We hope to see more athletic events happening at the new and improved SKD sports complex in the near future. Kudos to the Liberian Government for completing this project.
The Liberian Observer shared some great news, over the weekend. Liberia’s national athletics team won four medals at the West Africa Region II Senior Championships and the ECOWAS Junior Tournament in Conakry, Guinea. The competitions were held May 12-14, 2017.
Featured image from L.A.C.E.S
It’s no secret. Sports have a tremendous impact on our lives. From the spectator to the athlete, sports can become more than entertainment or exercise. In fact, studies show that kids who participate in organized sports build communication skills, decisiveness, teamwork, time management, self-esteem, and community. Researchers also link high academic performances and healthier lifestyles to sports participation, but the benefits don’t stop there.
Athletes have the responsibility to represent themselves, teammates, and fans. Their skills can take them all over the world, introducing them to places and people from all walks of life. Sports also benefit spectators. As spectators cheer on their team, they create stronger bonds with each other. It’s no wonder humanitarians use sports as tools for improving society. Below, we highlight four Liberian-focused organizations that use the power of sports to change lives.
Bill Rogers, the popular Liberian runner and 1500m national record holder, understands first-hand the opportunities sports create. Rogers established the Bill Rogers Youth Foundation in 2010, and has been using various sports to make a difference in Liberia since then. He’s hosted numerous sporting camps and competitions for Liberian youth, while raising funds to improve the community. The Bill Rogers Youth Foundation Facebook page showcases albums full of pictures from sporting events, team activities, and fundraisers.
The Liberian Athletes Reunion (LAR) organization hosts the annual LAR event focused on uniting former and current Liberian athletes and sports enthusiasts from all over the world. Since 2014, LAR has gathered Liberians in various cities to focus on ways to implement projects that will assist and empower Liberian athletes of all ages. In the past LAR has raised medical funds for a former coach and player. This year, LAR will host its annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia USA from June 23-25.
Life And Change Experienced through Sports. This is what L.A.C.E.S founder Seren Fryatt created in Liberia. After playing professional soccer in Liberia, the American athlete formed L.A.C.E.S, in 2007. The organization uses Christ as its mentor and soccer as its platform to develop the community and its most prized possession — its youth. Local leadership, community engagement, and family support are three key factors in the LACES movement. Since, 2008 local Liberians have operated L.A.C.E.S in Liberia.
Launching in 2015, Monrovia Football Academy (MFA) is the first school in Liberia to combine formal education with football development. The school’s website outlines how the institution tackles issues in education, gender equality, football opportunities, nutrition, life skills, and healthcare. Currently MFA has 29 boys and 19 girls, ages 8-12, in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.
Each of the organizations listed above have demonstrated a strong understanding of the positive effects that sports can have on the community. Take the time to visit each website and learn more about what they are doing for Liberia.
What are some other sports organizations working to help Liberia’s youth? Share your favorite one with us.
Featured image from Junior Lone Star FC LinkedIn
Featured image taken from Paul Hudson
Few professional athletes are blessed enough to gain national support and sponsorship, allowing them to focus solely on the grueling competition process. Others have to muster up the time and money to train, travel, and compete. Many Liberians find themselves in the latter group. In between full-time jobs, some Liberian athletes have the energy to not only train and compete, but also win. Their victories matched with the minimal support they often receive makes their medals even more impressive.
Featured image Liberia Basketball Federation Logo.
Basketball in Liberia has been growing, since 1964. Although Liberia has not made an Olympic appearance, the country has been to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) African Championship. This tournament is Africa’s premiere club competition, as FIBA hosts both national and club matches. In 1983, Liberia placed 9th out of 10 teams and in 2007 the team finished in 16th place.
A recent Facebook post has brought Lib Olympic Blog’s attention to the exhilarating sport in Liberia. Mr. Wes Smith, a member of the Ja’BELLEH Sports Mag Facebook group, recently posted some great Liberian basketball news.