The Ministry of Youth and Sports has announced AcelorMittal Liberia as the headline sponsor for this year’s National County Sports Meet.
The ministry made the announcement on Monday at a colorful ceremony in Monrovia, noting that the company has made available US$275,000 as contribution to the tournament.
AML’s sponsorship accounts for the biggest sponsorship contribution since the establishment of the National County Sports Meet in the late 1970s.
Minister of Sports, Zeogar Wilson, said the unveiling of AML marked a historic day for the National County Sports Meet under the CDC government.
“Two years ago, we engaged ArcelorMittal for sponsorship, and at that time we were told they would provide sponsorship to the three affected counties. We accepted, and we didn’t turn our backs on them,” Minister Wilson stated.
He said the Youth and Sports Ministry engaged the global steel giant, and this year the company decided to take “a giant step”.
“Today, it is my distinguished honor to announce to the people of Liberia that ArcelorMittal is prime sponsor for the National County Sports Meet,” he announced.
Minister Wilson said US$250,000 of the sponsorship money will go to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the conduct of the league, while US$25,000 will be distributed among Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa counties, which are affected by ArcelorMittal’s mining and logistics operations.
“We will ensure the three counties receive their various cheques, with US$10,000 to be given to Nimba and US$7,500 each to Bassa and Bong counties.
AML Chief Executive Officer, Joep Coenen, thanked the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the honor bestowed on his company to serve as gold sponsor for the county meet.
He told the audience he was moved by how “unifying and motivating sports can be”, and that he was “excited to be able to stand and make the donation to the people of Liberia”.
The AML CEO noted that activities of the National County Sports Meet bring into line AML’s commitment to peace, development, diversity and inclusion.
“AML has strongly supported sports around Liberia, and this year ArcelorMittal is providing US$275,000 as major sponsor of the National County Sports Meet,” Coenen disclosed.
“We celebrate our contribution to the National County Sports Meet, and are counting on you as champions,” he added.
Senator Abraham Darius Dillon called on the Ministry of Youth and Sports to use the county meet as a place where talents can be spotted for football development.
Senator Dillon said, in time past, the county meet was used as a major talent breeding ground for the country until it became political.
Meanwhile Senator Dillon also urged AML to follow the footprint of LAMCO by supporting or owning one of the teams in the Liberia Football Association’s league.
Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf, in remarks, said the headlined sponsorship and contribution made by ArcelorMittal towards the National County Sports Meet calls for a big celebration.
Minister Sirleaf praised ArcelorMittal’s commitment to community development, and said the company has helped solved emergent disaster problems in communities far from its operational area.
“On behalf of the fifteen counties and the leaders of the fifteen counties who are not here, we want to appreciate you for your contribution,” he said.
The county sports meet starts November 17, 2022, with Grand Bassa County the official host.