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Opinions of Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Columnist: Ayiku, Charles Nii

Developing And Promoting Sports In Ghana

Ghana?s qualification to the World Cup has brought a change in the attitude of Ghanaians towards sports especially soccer. Ghanaians now love sports more than ever and I am sure with this qualification, Sports and for that matter soccer would be an official religion in Ghana.

But my problem is, now that we have qualified, and can be counted as one of the best soccer nations in the world, are we in the position to move sports forward?

Sports as we all know is a common cultural phenomenon shared by the whole of mankind. It also responds to man's inherent desire for physical and mental activity and imparts a sense of fulfillment and richness to human life.

Sports as a cultural phenomenon affects both man's physical and mental aspects and it is essential for the development of a happy and vigorous society and for the attainment of the individual's psychosomatic health. It is therefore of the greatest significance that people should engage in sports throughout their lives.

Sport also has the significance of an activity pursuing the ultimate limits of our human potential. On a social scale it is a significant element in the sound development of the young and the generation of a sense of solidarity in local communities. It also contributes to the national economy and promotes friendly international relations.

In order for Ghana to ensure the effective and efficient promotion of sports both the central government and the local public entities should make a systematic and planned commitment to the issues concerning the promotion of sport from a medium- and long-term perspective by regularly evaluating and reviewing their policy measures.

I have the following straight forward points available for the promotion of sports in Ghana.

? The establishment of optimal training programs for the development of top-level sportsmen in an organized and planned manner. Specifically, this means the establishment of programs for the development of sportsmen indicating the concept and nature of the training for Sports Association's rearing top-level sportsmen and of a system for instructing the sportsmen in accordance with this program.

? Provision of centers at which top-level sportsmen and eminently talented sportsmen from the regions can assemble for intensive, general training. For the reinforcement of top-level sportsmen, in particular, it is essential to create within the earliest possible time, full-scale training centers at the national level equipped with a complete spectrum of functions both in terms of equipment ("hardware") and support capabilities ("software").

? Develop and secure instructors capable of underpinning the optimal training program which are necessary for reviewing and upgrading the training system for sports instructors and encourage the use of full-time instructors for top-level sportsmen. It is equally important to promote the establishment of a National Coach Academy and reinforce the cooperative links among the instructors at the National, regional, schools and local sports clubs.

? Identify the directions in which the development of the future sports environment should take place, with the creation of a system in which top-level sportsmen can exclusively and safely concentrate on sports with a view to rising to the world's top level. Efforts are needed to upgrade the incentive measures that will facilitate the support of sports by companies and the use of top-level sportsmen as instructors.

? Create a research system in the sports medicine and science area mainly through the foundation of a National Sports Science Center (tentative name) to permit the instruction of sportsmen by fully utilizing the research findings in the area of sports medicine and science. It is also essential to establish training and coaching methods based on sports medicine and science.

? Create an anti-doping system in Ghana, this is necessary to promote efforts for the establishment of a National Anti-Doping organization (an organization responsible for comprehensive and impartial anti-doping activities in Ghana) and to upgrade Ghana's anti-doping activities.

? It is also important to enrich our children's sports activities both in and out of school by creating a regional sports environment marked by a closer bond between the schools and the local community, including cooperation toward the development of the Comprehensive Community Sports Clubs.

? Develop and upgrade the instructing ability of the teaching staff and develop and secure superior instructors. Furthermore, in order to create an environment for school children to enjoy the fun of sports activities in safety, it is necessary to promote efforts to turf outside exercise grounds in accordance with the conditions of the schools and to provide and upgrade the schools' sports facilities with a possibility of their being shared with the local community, including the creation of training rooms.

I believe with this little and basic advice, Ghana would be able to promote sports from the local level to the international world of sports. Any way, CONGRATULATIONS to His Excellency, John Adjekum Kufour,The Black Stars, ,Hon. Osafo-Marfo and Mr. Charles Aryeh of the National Sports Council and thanks to all Ghanaians for their prayers. ?Germai? (Germany) here we come!



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