President George Manneh Weah has broken grounds for the Invincible Sports Park, a multi-purpose complex that will contain basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, walking trails, a children’s playground, and an outdoor gym, together with adequate sanitary facilities.
During the ceremony Tuesday, 9 February in Sinkor, President, a former Liberian international soccer star, said as a public park, the facility will be freely accessible and available to anyone and everyone who seeks to use it.
“Today has brought me yet another opportunity to share my dreams and aspirations for the happiness and well-being of our citizens, by providing modern recreational facilities that will contribute to their good health, wellbeing, and fitness,” Mr. Weah says.
He recalls that he attended the Ellen Mills Scarborough Junior High School right across the road from where the groundbreaking ceremony was taking place, saying he practiced there during his days when he played for the Invincible Eleven Majestic Sports Association.
It was during those days that Mr. Weah notes that he broke his first record in the high school league right on the field of the groundbreaking ceremony by defeating the famous Wells Hairston High School when he played for the Muslim Congress High School on the airfield, called The Bench Old-Timers Field.
Also, President Weah says the area where the program was being held has played another important and very meaningful role in Liberia’s history, when it served for many years as the site where hundreds of Liberian women, wearing white, prayed for peace to return to the nation.
“They were here as Prayer Warriors for our Nation, in the heat and in the rain, laying on the ground and sitting in the sand, with no shelter from the elements,” he narrates. He notes that their prayers were heard by the Almighty God, and their efforts were rewarded with a lasting and sustainable peace that Liberians have enjoyed for almost two decades now.
“In recognition, gratitude, and appreciation of their patriotic efforts, this Park will contain a special Prayer Ground area for them to pray, which will feature turf under their feet and shelter over their heads,” he says further.
And yet, he says for some reasons best known to his predecessor, Madam Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf, she chose to shut the place down, “thereby denying our people the simple pleasures of recreation and relaxation in the open air.”“Well, just as HER job is to CLOSE it, it is MY job to OPEN it,” he says, adding that since no one cared to do anything about it after more than 30 years, it is his job to fix it.
Additionally , he says he made a formal application to the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority for approval to locate the facility there, because of its close proximity to Spriggs Airport, and permission was granted on the basis of his undertaking that all heights and elevations would comply with the requirements of the aviation regulator.
“Additionally, it will be situated a safe distance from the runway, as determined by the LCAA, and there will be no buildings erected in the Park,” he concludes.