By Duannah Siryon
The Liberian ambassador accredited to the United States of America, Jeremiah Sulunteh said, it’s about time that the government of Liberia begin to address and provide vigorous investment in sports.
Speaking recently at the 1st Liberian Athletes Reunion award banquet held on June 14, in Philadelphia, USA, ambassador Sulunteh noted that, not much has been done about the insurance and continuous wellbeing of athletes who bear the national color.
In a more moderate tone, the Ambassador said, “it’s sad to see former national heroes and heroines dying of avoidable sicknesses simply because of the lack of health insurance or lack of money; such issues must be immediately address by both the government and athletes themselves.”
Ambassador Sulunteh lauded the idea that an establishment of a Liberian Athletes Union that will serve to cater to the health, professional, and emotional needs of all athletes, irrespective of old or young, female or male.
According to the Ambassador, “sports could potentially benefit Liberia economically only if the government, private sectors, and the citizenry can provide strong financial investment and moral commitment to all sporting disciplines in the country.” ”Additionally, athletes themselves have to be patriotic to the nation first and all other thing become secondary.” The Ambassador continued.
The Ambassador, who once played sport in high school and college, made an initial contribution of $500.00 on behalf of the government of Liberia and challenge the organizers of the program to make sure that the dreams of an athletes union become a lasting and tangible reality.
In a related development, Ambassador Sulunteh disclosed at the Liberian Athletes Reunion ceremony a potential investment opportunity for Liberia sport’s industry may be arriving soon in the country.
The ambassador, who recently took Mr. Roger Heckey, an American investor how has expressed interest to explore the possibility of manufacturing a sporting equipment’s production facility in the country, met with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the investment commission to initial the discussion.
If all modalities are work out with the Liberian government, Mr. Heckey will relocated part of his production lines from China to Liberia and help prepare Liberian athletes for the 2016 Olympic.
Ambassador Sulunteh, along with former Liberia national football player Beneditt Wisseh, aka Mama Musa and basketball players Eric Daniels, presented distinguish awards to 34 sporting personalities from Liberia. Those honored in football/soccer are: Garretson Sackor, Borbor Gaye, Dr. Charles (Babe Ray) Wolful, Jadeh Williams, Tarpeh Roberts, Josiah N. Johnson, and Philip Robertson. In male basketball, Nathaniel Seto, William Bill Flowers, Leon Clark, Tarr Harris, and Charles Wordsworth were also honored.
In female basketball, Andrea Kiahon-Knowlden, Linda Collins, Dawn Tolbert, Gbour Wilson, Alice Holder Anderson, Dr. Ophelia Weeks, and Florence Kamara received their awards.
In table Tennis categories, Mr. Joseph Sherman, Charles Collins, Kenneth Nevelle Best, and George Dunbar received their honors. In sponsor/Team president category, the late Sam Burnette, Thelma George, Asamade Kaba, and Johnathan Mason were awarded while in Track & Field, Mr. Joseph Namah, Dr. George Johnson, and Mr. Edward Kai receive honors.
In the last categories, the following personalities received honors in sports media and broadcasting: Mozart Dennis, Jerry Wion, J. Garsuah Yamento, and the late Herbert Grisby.