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Sports News
Ghana Sports Is In Crisis 4/2/2008

Ghana sports, at the moment, is in serious crisis, in spite of some respectable successes chalked in football, athletics and boxing over the years.

Director of Sports Development, Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, Dr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, who made this observation in an interview with the Times Sports last Friday, said it might seem Ghana was doing well on the international scene, "but a critical look paints a very gloomy situation".

"In holistic terms, Ghana sports at present is nothing to write home about," he stressed, pointing to a cock-tail of issues including lack of infrastructural development, recruitment and development of sports talents and dearth of qualified technical and management staff at the National Sports Council (NSC) as factors viciously militating against the growth of the nation’s sports.

Dr Owusu-Ansah stated that apart from football, almost all the national sports associations have failed to plan and persue programmes and projects that would develop their respective sports and attract the much-needed sponsorship and international recognition.

"That is why there is the need to reconstitute all the associations to make them more responsive to modern day trends in sports," he asserted.

The former chief executive of the NSC noted that until Ghana constructed two new stadia in Tamale and Sekondi and upgraded the Baba Yara and Ohene Djan Stadia, she was the poorest on the continent with regard to sports infrastructure.

Dr Owusu-Ansah said the artificial running tracks at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, though well-laid by International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) standards, "cannot host any IAAF continental or regional athletic championship if a warm-up track is not constructed in addition to the main stadium track".

A more disastrous situation, he stormed, is on exhibition at the Sekondi, Tamale and El-Wak Stadia where the tracks are terribly constructed.

In view of that the Director of Sports Development says Ghana is not in a position to readily host a continental championship in any Olympic sports discipline, aside football.

Dr Owusu-Ansah, therefore, suggested the cessation of all international competitions by Ghana and rather focus on "reorganising the structures at home and laying the necessary foundation that will ensure sustained development and more lasting results".

He said this was why there was the need to organise a workshop on National Sports Strategic Plan (NSSP) to seriously examine the state of Ghana Sports "and agree on a plan of action that will change the obviously sad state of sports in this country".

A workshop on the NSSP has been slated for the Alisa Hotel in Accra from April 2-4, this year.
Source: Times

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