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Developing Beach Soccer In Liberia: A Chat With Clarence.

Beach soccer is a rapidly growing sport in Liberia and at the forefront of its development is Clarence Lee Chea, the Beach Soccer Coordinator at the Liberian Football Association.

With a passion for the sport and a vision for its future, Clarence has been instrumental in promoting beach soccer in Liberia, from grassroots initiatives to national league competitions. In this exclusive interview, Clarence shares his journey, from his early days as a classroom teacher to his current role as a CAF-licensed coach and sports marketer. He opens up about the challenges and triumphs of developing beach soccer in Liberia, and his aspirations for the sport’s future in the country. Lets dive into it.

BSmag: Hello, Clarence. great to have you. Could you tell us about your background a bit.

Clarence: I’m Clarence Lee Chea, a CAF-licensed coach and sports marketer with a passion for developing beach soccer in Liberia. With extensive experience as a classroom teacher, coach, and administrator, I’ve honed my skills in player development, administration, and sports marketing.

BSmag: As a CAF-licensed coach and your experience in sports marketing, how do you envision developing beach soccer in Liberia, and what initiatives have you implemented so far?

Clarence: My vision is both technical and administratively. Enhance player skills, improve coaching methodologies according to the laws of the gam, and then strengthen administrative structures. To achieve this, I’ve initiated several programs, including coaching seminars, player training camps, and community outreach initiatives. Additionally, we are continually establishing partnerships with local businesses to secure sustainable sponsorship and support for our activities.

BSmag: Your background as a classroom teacher, coaching and administrative experience. How has this helped you transition into your current role at the Liberian Football Association?

Clarence: My diverse experience has been instrumental in my transition. As a classroom teacher, I learned patience, understanding, and effective communication. As a coach, I developed the ability to analyse situations, make strategic decisions, and motivate players. As an administrator, I’ve honed my organisational skills, learned to work with diverse stakeholders, and developed a keen sense of problem-solving skills. These have enabled me to effectively coordinate and deliver on my current duty at the FA.

BSmag: What specific challenges have you faced in your development and promotional efforts, and how have you overcome them?

Clarence: Initially, we faced a lack of interest, and then funding, and infrastructure. To overcome these challenges, we organised community tournaments, engaged with local media, and partnered with local businesses to secure sponsorship. Consistency and persistence have been key to our growth.

BSmag: How do you balance your coaching and administrative roles, and how do they complement each other.

Clarence: Balancing coaching and administrative roles requires effective time management and prioritisation. My coaching experience informs my administrative decisions, ensuring that player development and coaching needs are addressed. Conversely, my administrative role enables me to create structures and opportunities for coaches and players to thrive.

BSmag: Share a success story or a particularly rewarding moment in your journey developing beach soccer in Liberia.

Clarence: Organising a beach soccer tournament in the densely populated slum community of West Point was a significant success. Despite initial skepticism, the event drew a large crowd and demonstrated the potential for beach soccer to unite and inspire communities.

BSmag: Our local communities are often times the primary hosts, how do you get them involved in beach soccer?

Clarence: We use a multi-faceted approach, including publicity campaigns, community outreach programs, and partnerships with local organisations. Our aim is to make beach soccer accessible and inclusive, promoting a sense of ownership and belonging among community members.

BSmag: Player development is a key part of the league circle, how do you ensure this and what support structures are in place?

Clarence: We provide regular training sessions, coaching seminars, and mentorship programs. Additionally, through partnerships, we offer medical support, equipment, and facilities to ensure players have the necessary resources to develop their skills.

BSmag: How do you see beach soccer contributing to Liberia’s national football identity and reputation globally?

Clarence: Beach soccer has the potential to become a flagship sport for Liberia, showcasing our country’s talent, passion, and resilience. With dedicated development and investment, I believe we can become a force to be reckoned on the international stage.

BSmag: Finally, what footprints would you like to leave on the sands of time? What hopes and aspirations do you have for the beach soccer?

Clarence: I hope to leave a legacy of love, respect, and dedication to the growth of beach soccer, not only in country but across the world. My dream is to see Liberia win the Beach Soccer World Cup.

BSmag: Thank you, Clarence, for sharing your time with us. We wish you and the Liberian beach soccer community continued success.



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