Poor County Meet Organization Undermines Celebration of Peace

first_imgMr. Alfred Sayon, technical committee chairman of the Grand Kru Sports Association, has indicated that the poor organization of the 2014 National Meet has brought disunity to the celebration of the ten years of peace the country has enjoyed.He said the theme, ‘Celebrating 10 Years of Peace through Sports’, could not be achieved due to poor organization in handling and managing resources to counties.Sayon, in an interview Tuesday in Monrovia, raised concerns about three important issues: organization, financial contributions and the officiating of the games, particularly outside Monrovia.Sayon suggested that the Ministry of Youths & Sports must establish a National Steering Committee, comprising of representatives from all the counties.“The steering committee will then be able to understand what it takes to prepare teams and be able to come up with appropriate recommendation that will make a difference,” he said.Sayon said that will create confidence in the organization of the County Meet since it will involve technical professionals from outside the Ministry of Youths & Sports.He said since the County Meet is an annual event funds for the counties must be provided ahead of time to ensure adequate preparation.“Grand Kru’s players could not be pacified despite the fact that the check of U$4,000.00 was on hand,” Sayon said. The amount should have been $6,000.00.He added that the check was released when there was no chance to cash it, and as a result the players could not see reason to wait and it was a day before a scheduled game.“The money was needed to pay the players but we could not get to cash the check so it meant that we were in for trouble,” Sayon said disappointed. And the trouble was the team’s elimination by Nimba.He made reference to the late distribution of funds to the counties, even as county teams qualify from one stage to another.“In last year’s county meet,” Sayon said, “we received funds for the game three days before the meet and since this year’s was not even better, it leaves much to be desired.”“We don’t seem to learn from what we did wrong three years ago,” Sayon said. “This is because past mistakes have been repeated in every County Meet.”He explained that the U$20,000.00 provided to each county is not enough to cover preparation, transportation and remuneration to players.Due to the late release of funds for this year’s meet, there were overwhelming problems, including the one in Sinoe County, where players set up roadblocks, demanding for funds entitled to them, he noted.The County Meet is an annual affair, Sayon said, and as a result the ministry must be able to learn from past mistakes to make the future ones better.The third concern is how games were officiated in the preliminary rounds in the counties.“Officiating games in the counties is not the same as handling matches in Monrovia,” he said, “there was a high degree of favoritism where the norm was loyalty over professionalism.”He recommended a check and balance or a system that can oversee the performance of match officials to ensure fair play which he said was lacking in the 2014 preliminary rounds.At a press conference last week, Youth and Sports Minister Eugene Nagbe admitted that clearance for the distribution of the funds came two weeks before the tournament.He explained that his administration followed the PPCC law to set the standard for the future.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

LiVArts and Accountability Lab Resume Art Classes

first_imgLiberia Visual Arts Academy (LiVArts), in collaboration with the Accountability Lab, has finally resumed art classes in an effort to reassure its commitment to the development of youth art. At the reopening of the art classes last weekend, Mr. Brooks Marmon, Program Director of Accountability Lab said, “The quest of youth turning their imagination into reality is a big change of attitude towards Liberia’s development plans.” He added that the dream of Liberian youth breaking into mainstream international youth competition has been difficult because of the belief that their talents are of poor quality. “But when you look at a few of our youth pining down their imaginations without the help of digital technology, you see that their talents are exceptional,” he said.More than 15 students between the ages of 10 and 15 from the Kids Power Program were present during the reopening course. The accountability arts class creates a stage were students’ artistic skills can be expanded and improved.Most recently, artworks created by students from the academy were featured in Imago Mundi, a contemporary art publication showcasing Liberian and Sierra Leonean youth art talents and titled: “Liberia and Sierra Leone: The Everyday Struggle”. “We remains committed in promoting your natural talents by celebrating excellence and imagination of your work through publication and programs like these,” Mr. Brooks assured the students.He said further “Accountability Lab has a rich record of nurturing the creative talents of determined students while turning their dreams into reality. Your drawings reflect accountability and show things that you see affecting you in the nation today.”Mr. Brooks also said, “We hope that artworks by these children will have a direct impact on the society because they have depicted a few of the ills in Liberia.”Meanwhile the Executive Director of LiVArts, Leslie Lumeh, said the talents of the students are unique and as future leaders they have a responsibility to develop their talents.“Your determination to improve your arts shows a strong sense of ancestral and cultural identity,” he said. “Your passion for arts will definitely give birth to accountability and transparence among us all,” he added.Mr. Lumeh also said that all forms of arts demonstrate and provoke discussion on critical issues including poverty, sustainable development, gender inequality, governance, and child labor, among others. “LiVArts will remain committed in encouraging the development of your talents and hope you can continue this strength of mind,” he said.The Accountability Art Class, held on the second Saturday of each month, is hosted at the academy’s facilities located on 15th Street & Payne Avenue.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more