Tag Archives: Liberia

THE JOURNEY TO WORLDS: LIBERIA OLYMPIAN, EMMANUEL MATADI MOVES ON TO SEMIFINALS. 

The International Association Athletics Foundation 2017 World Championships in London has officially begun. The last time we covered this topic it was to introduce the four man team. Although Liberia’s newly formed 4×100 team did not qualify, Liberia was given the opportunity to send one unqualified male and one unqualified female. Liberia sent Emmanuel Matadi to compete in the Men’s 100 meter race. 

In the preliminary round, the first 3 in each heat and the next 2 fastest will advance. Matadi competed in Heat 1 and placed first in his heat with a 10.27 (+1.4 wind) qualifying mark.

 In his second race, Matadi placed 4th in Heat 1 with a time of 10.24. The qualification for advancing includes the first 3 in each heat and the next 6 fastest times. Even though Matadi placed 4th, he was in the next 6 fastest times overall so he has advanced on to the semifinals. 


We wish him well as he competes again on Saturday August 5, 2017 at 7:05pm (2:05pm Eastern). NBC Sports is broadcasting the competition. 

Watch his races below.  



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THE JOURNEY TO WORLDS: LIBERIA’S 4X100 TEAM

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.

Liberia National Men's 4x100 Relay Team
The men’s 4×1 Team preparing to take the track. L to R: Matadi, Sirleaf, Selman, and Zaza

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.

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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.

 

 

Liberia National Men's 4x100 Relay Team

LIBERIAN WOMEN IN SPORTS

Featured Image from LiberiaEntertainment.com

Last week, the International Olympic Committee approved the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games’ event program. The approval included 5 new sports and 15 new events, which will increase the number of women participants and fulfill the committee’s gender balance goal. Out of Liberia’s 46 past Olympians, 9 are women. Liberia’s first female Olympian, Grace Ann Dinkins represented the country in 1984. Since then, Liberia has sent at least 1 female athlete to each attended Game. Liberia has done well sending women to represent the country, at the last 3 Olympics, but how does Liberia support female athletes outside of the Olympics? Let’s take a look.

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Continue reading LIBERIAN WOMEN IN SPORTS

SAMUEL KANYON DOE SPORTS COMPLEX RENOVATION COMPLETED

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.

HOW TO REPRESENT LIBERIA IN THE OLYMPICS

Featured image from London2012

I hear you want to represent Liberia in the Olympics. Well, you’ve come to the right spot. This article should give you enough information to get started. Getting to the Big Game takes lots of stamina. The journey is filled with competitions and qualifiers, but it all starts with the athlete.

1. KNOW THE QUALIFYING STANDARD

As an athlete, you have to know the qualification criteria for your sport. The international federation that governs your sport sets a basic standard and publishes it to their website. Runners can get qualification standards from the International Association of Athletics Federation webpage. Boxers should visit the International Boxing Association site. Find your international federation and start there.

Sometimes federations publish their Olympic qualifying criteria closer to the Olympic Games. They might even amend the standards. Pay attention to the possible changes. If you cannot find the standards for the upcoming Olympics, use the criteria for the previous Games as a benchmark.

Now that you know how fast you must run or what competitions you must enter, start working towards that goal.

2. TRAIN  AND COMPETE

CAAAthletics Ada 200m Day Three
Liberian sprinter Ada Udaya competing in the 20th African Championships (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images).

Serious Olympic hopefuls must adhere to a strict schedule. You must learn to weave training and competing into your everyday life. In addition to the time commitment, prepare for the financial responsibility.

You must register and attend specific competitions in order to qualify for the Olympics. Again, you’ll find this information on your sport’s international federation webpage. The costs to train, travel, and compete adds up, but there are ways to minimize these expenses.

  • INSIDE LIBERIA

If you live in Liberia, you can contact the national federation for your sport. Depending on your sport, this could be helpful. Some federations are more active than others. Liberia has 29 sports federations/associations.

In 2015, the Ministry of Youth and Sports established guidelines for each government funded federation and association.  These rules were created to monitor the organizations and assist them with their missions. If you qualify, your sport’s federation should assist you in representing Liberia. Below are some active Liberian Sports Federations.

Liberian Basketball Federation

Liberia Football Association

Liberia National Table Tennis Association

Liberia Amateur Boxing Association

Liberia Judo Federation

Liberia Athletics Federation

Liberian Surfing Association

Liberia Roller Sport Federation

Other national sports federations/associations include golf, kickball, amputee football, taekwondo, weight lifting, karate, volleyball, cricket, lawn tennis, handball, swimming, cycling, wrestling,  netball, chess, wushu, canoeing and rowing.

If your sports federation is not active, you can still compete in international competitions, but you’ll have to represent a local club. This means your club will have to register you and assist you with funding.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) also offers athletic training scholarships. Financing your journey will take time and research.

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Rio 2016 Liberia Olympic Team and delegates (Image from team).
  • OUTSIDE LIBERIA

If you live outside Liberia, don’t depend on the national sports federations for too much help with training. Their job is to develop their sport within the country.  You might need to take advantage of your local resources (schools and clubs), until closer to competition time. Even during competitions, Liberian sports federations have struggled to finance Liberian athletes. Still, try to communicate with the federation. They might be able to guide you in some area.

Remember the IOC offers scholarships. Do your research. A little research can go a long way.

What if Liberia does not have a federation for your sport? No problem. The Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) can vouch for you.

3. CONNECT WITH LIBERIA NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE 

LBR Olympic Profile

The LNOC submits the final roster for the Liberia Olympic Team to the International Olympic Committee. The IOC then decides whether or not to accept each athlete as Liberia’s representative. It’s the LNOC’s job to make sure every athlete is qualified to represent the country.

Visit the official Olympic webpage to contact the LNOC.

If you have been training, competing, and meet your sports’ Olympic qualification standard, you might get the chance to represent our beloved Lone Star. Keep in mind this process is easier read than done.

This path can be filled with bumps, sharp turns, and even dead ends. You will probably spend half your time trying to reach the appropriate contact person and the other half searching for funds, but don’t give up. Remain persistent and keep working hard. I believe both of these issues will get better over time.

Read more about becoming an Olympian in the Olympic Charter.

LIBERIA NATIONAL ATHLETICS TEAM WIN BIG IN GUINEA

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.

Continue reading LIBERIA NATIONAL ATHLETICS TEAM WIN BIG IN GUINEA

FOUR ORGANIZATIONS USING SPORTS TO UPLIFT LIBERIA

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.

1. Bill Rogers Youth Foundation

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.

Bill Rogers
Bill Rogers, in top center, with Liberian children during a sporting event. (Image taken from Bill Rogers Youth Foundation  Facebook page).

2. Liberian Athletes Reunion

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.

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LAR Reunion. (Image taken from LAR website)

3. L.A.C.E.S

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.

4. Monrovia Football Academy

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.

MFA student
Academy 3rd Grader Christina Woart works on her fluency, projection, and expression in reading class (Image taken from MFA website).

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.