Featured image by Liberia National Table Tennis Association

Sports clubs at the school, community and national levels can have a positive impact on Liberia — especially when it’s geared toward younger citizens. Since Liberia has 5.4 million people living within its borders and 40% of that number is under 15 years old, sports naturally fits into its developmental goals. But, like many things, money can be an issue.

Luckily, many sports don’t cost much to start and manage. In 2021, Quartz published a list of the most affordable Olympic sports. Go Team Liberia used this list to rank 11 affordable sports, other than football, Liberian youth can practice. Community leaders who’d like to have a positive impact on younger Liberians can consider starting a youth club in any of these sports.

We considered the approximate cost to start a 10-member club in each of these sports and pulled basic equipment prices from online stores.

11. Golf Sports Club: $1,300

Golf Sports Clubs
Photo credit: Tord Sollie

New golf teams can expect to spend as little as $200 on a golf set, $30 for a pack of 36 golf balls, and $20 for a glove. In addition to this, players will need to find a practice space on one of Liberia’s three known golf courses. A golf team with 10 members will need at least five golf sets, 90 golf balls, and 10 gloves. Still this is a relatively affordable sport to manage — especially when each player shares their golf set with one other teammate.

10. Futsal Club: $1,200

Photo credit: Sandro Halank

Similar to football, futsal’s main objective is to kick the football into the goal. However this game is mostly played indoors on a hard surface with five members on each team. It has a much quicker pace than standard football, with a shorter playing time and a smaller ball.

Setting up an official futsal team requires an indoor court, 2 goals, and a futsal football. Altogether the price can start at $420 for two goals and a futsal football. Players are required to wear flat sneakers with good grips and shin guards, which could cost each player $60.

FIFA governs futsal and has high standards for certified playing areas and courts.

9. Weightlifting Sports Club: $1000

Olympic Barbell
Photo credit: Tomáš Pilík

Weightlifting, another easy sport to get into, requires apparel that keeps the athlete safe. Special weightlifting shoes($35), knee sleeves ($20), wrist straps ($20), a weightlifting belt ($30), and singlet make up the standard weightlifting uniform. These items can come to $100 for each person.

Next, weightlifters will need a gym with standard weights to train in. Memberships for these spaces can start at $35 a month. To curb this cost, a youth weightlifting club could find a local gym to sponsor the group.

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8. Surfing Club: $1000

Photo credit: Erik Cleves Kristensen

Liberia has plenty of ocean and plenty of surfboards. Those two main items make up the basic requirements for a surf club. Online stores sell beginner boards for as little as $90. If those aren’t obtainable, surf shops in Liberia can rent out boards for $10 an hour or $100 a month until the athlete decides to purchase their own.

A surf club with 10 athletes could spend $1,000 to accommodate the team members. But unlike weightlifting, athletes don’t need a gym, just the salty sea.

7. Martial Arts Club (Taekwondo or Wushu): $1,000

Two young men competing in a Taekwondo match.
Photo credit: Liberia Taekwondo Federation

Martial arts such as taekwondo and wushu already have active and established federations in Liberia — with clubs in various counties. This allows youth who want to practice these sports an opportunity to reach out to club masters, and community leaders a chance to sponsor these already established schools. If someone wanted to start their own club they’d need the skill and certification to do so.

Although taekwondo and wushu are accessible and affordable sports, the sparring gear required to compete can cost anywhere from $150 to $250 per set. Since clubs will need between four to eight sets of gear to accommodate different weight categories this could become a pricer club to start.

At the same time, practicing the art of taekwondo and wushu simply requires a dedicated master, stern discipline, and skill — plus a $20 uniform.

6. Basketball Club (3×3): $900

Photo credit: Jean-Daniel Francoeur

Basketballs cost as little as $20 and good basketball sneakers can start at $70. Aside from these two items, Liberia has several private and public basketball courts where young athletes can practice. Also, basketball appears to be the second most popular sport in Liberia with active clubs in various parts of the country.

Focusing on 3×3 youth teams allow clubs to reduce the cost of travel, uniforms, and other expenses required for competitive players. However the standard 5×5 competition can be just as affordable to manage.

5. Track (Running) Club: $750

Liberia u18 & u20 Athletics Team
Photo credit: Liberia Athletics Federation

Running cost little to execute. The main equipment for this sport is running shoes or track spikes. Depending on whether the athletes will compete in marathons or sprints, decent running footwear can start at $75. But other than this cost, running clubs can make arrangements to practice at the SKD track or within their own communities.

Additionally, field events such as shot put, javelin throw, and long jump have different cost factors. A shot put starts at $25, while javelins start at $100 and require more logistics to travel with. Long jump and high jump pits can cost over a thousand dollars to install, but once it’s obtained it doesn’t cost the athletes much to participate.

4. Tennis Club: $700

Boy playing tennis
Photo credit: Seattle Parks and Recreation

Starting a tennis club can be easy, once you’ve selected which court you’ll practice at. Liberia has some tennis courts spread throughout the capital — including at The Invincible Park, which has two courts for public use.

Aside from the court, it costs $25 for a decent child or junior-size racket and $15 for a dozen tennis balls. Players should wear decent tennis sneakers which can cost as little as $40.

3. Table Tennis Club: $550

Liberia Table Tennis Federation
Photo credit: Liberia National Table Tennis Federation

Table Tennis is a fun and affordable sport. An entire set: the table, net, 4 paddles, and ping pong balls can cost as low as $250. After the club starts, athletes don’t have to spend much to train. They simply need a paddle, ping pong ball, wall, and small table to practice their skill at home.

A set of 4 paddles and a few ping pong balls can cost as little as $25. This sport gets extra points because it can be played anywhere that can house a ping pong table — including outdoors — and teams are only one or two players. Two ping pong tables should be enough to get a 10-member club started.

2. Beach Volleyball Club: $300

Photo credit: Liberia Volleyball Federation

Beach Volleyball is another sport that Liberian youth can easily access. The entry cost isn’t as basic but it’s tangible. Club owners will need a beach volleyball, a net, a pole to anchor into the sand, and the proper installation equipment. Cheap nets can start at $50, but for better quality equipment the net price begins at $100 — beach volleyballs start at $20.

This sport is the second cheapest on the list and it has the potential to become more accessible than more popular sports like basketball. Players can create a beach volleyball court anywhere sand exists, and during the rainy season practice can move to indoor courts. This sport has almost no financial expense for the athlete, aside from a uniform and volleyball to practice with.

1. Beach Wrestling Club: $0

Liberia Wrestling Team
Photo credit: Liberia Wrestling Federation

Currently, beach wrestling isn’t  an Olympic sport but it’s a highly competitive international event. It will also make its Olympic debut at the Dakar 2026 Youth Games. Unlike Olympic Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, which require mats that cost thousands of dollars, beach wrestling simply requires sand. And Liberia has endless amounts of that.

As for international competitions, Liberia can travel with as little as one athlete  — and up to 12. No equipment is required, only talent and skill.

Of course, launching a sports club takes more than just starter money. Leaders have to pay for water, certifications, and other necessities. These clubs will need very well trained coaches and organized administrators. It takes a lot of time, skill and organization to form a successful sports club.