Track & Field News of Friday, 5 October 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Athletes cry for ECOWAS Games allowances

Athletes who featured for Team Ghana at the ECOWAS Games held in the country some months ago have appealed to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Clement Kofi Humado, to help them secure the per diem allowances due them for the event.

The aggrieved sportsmen and women, who have exhausted every means possible to claim their allowances after the ECOWAS Games without success, have become frustrated by the indifferent attitude of the sports authorities at both the Ministry and the National Sports Authority towards their plight.

Over 150 athletes competed for Ghana in disciplines such as handball, volleyball, athletics, wrestling and boxing at the Games which took place in Accra from June 16 to 23.

Though Team Ghana emerged tops on the medals table, barely four months after the competition, athletes who lifted high the nation’s flag are yet to receive a penny for their efforts.

Marching to the offices of the Chief Accountant of the Ministry last Friday, members of the various national teams demanded to know why they had laid down their lives to toil for the country but their efforts seem to go unrewarded while the authorities looked unconcerned.

Volleyball men’s captain, Chapnon Eden, and her female counterpart, Gloria Mensah, both poured their frustrations on this reporter and appealed to the Minister to intervene on their behalf, likewise the leaders of the men and women handball teams, Abeka Buxton and Lawrencia Lartey.

However, checks at the National Sports Authority revealed that per diems and allowances due the athletes were yet to be released by the Ministry.

A source at the Chief Accountant’s Office at the National Sports Authority told the Daily Graphic that plans were far advanced to source the money from the Ministry to be given to the athletes.

In a related development, players and officials of the national hockey team which, won bronze at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique, last year are also yet to receive monies promised them by the President (then Vice President) John Dramani Mahama.

Graphic Sports sources say the monies were released to the Sports Ministry months ago for onward presentation to the medal-winning athletes but are yet to receive it.