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Sports News of Tuesday, 7 August 2018


Sar-afia in Asaba: The two-woman Ghana athletics supporters group

Sarah Asafu-Adjayi,(m) Afia Appiah (r) and two others holding the Ghana flag in Asaba

Unlike with the national football teams, it is often rare, if at all, to see supporters groups accompany Ghanaian athletes traveling abroad for competition.

It is even rarer to see individuals spend their own money on travel around a foreign country, just for the purposes of cheering Ghanaian athletes in competition.

But the adventures of Sarah Asafu-Adjayi and Afia Appiah, two of the wonderful group of people behind Just Because Fitness, will make even the famous Abraham Boakye, aka ‘One Man Supporter’ look on with admiration.

As team Ghana confirmed its participation at the 21st edition of the Africa Senior Athletics Championship, so did Sarah and Afia -packing in full, leaving families behind to make the somehow chaotic journey to the South-South of Nigeria for the championships.

Carrying a Ghana flag wherever they went, the duo brought the beauty and color of Ghana with them to Asaba.

And their flag came in hand. As Janet Amponsah steamrolled her way to two podium finishes, she knew only one place to approach for a Ghana flag to celebrate.

The familiarity of home support made the athletes particularly comfortable as Janet Amponsah later said.

“It feels good to see people in the stands cheering for us. It makes us want to do more to make them happy.

This is not the first time either of the duo has traveled to support Ghanaian athletes.

In April this year, Ms Asafu-Adjaye was in Gold Coast, Australia for the Commonwealth Games.

Since partnering with the Ghana Athletics Association in 2017, Just Because Fitness, the group Ms Appiah and Ms Asafu-Adjaye operate, have provided both financial and logistic support to outstanding local Ghanaian athletes.

Their support of Hor Halutie in particular, stands out as they have regularly ensured the 19 year old has only ever had to concentrate on the training program the GAA has prepared for her, with all other things taken care of by Just Because Fitness.

The Ghana Athletics Association has also benefited from their association with JBF who have now brought on board Bonds Savings and Loans Limited to support their National Athletics Circuit.

The passion that this duo bring to athletics is infectious, and the GAA will hope several others catch the fever that could earmark a new era of support for Ghana athletics.