What is the true state of the Ghanaian sporting sector?
Sports in Ghana can be fun, therapeutic, and profitable; all in one stroke. And with the right attitude and push; the sports industry can be a huge catalyst for national development; as a single event can boost the tourism, transport, and economic sectors for the nation in question.
Ghana has always been blessed; with an abundance of talented individuals in the world of sports. It is also impossible to ignore the fact that while Ghana is loosely defined as a “sporting nation“; this, in reality, can be broken down as (95% football [soccer, if you must]; 3% boxing and then all the other sports competing for the meager 2% that remains. Also, a variety of factors contribute to this; including the marketability of football; and the apparent lack of it for the other disciplines. I, however, believe that the other sports could thrive if, and only if; more focus is paid towards providing a more sustainable developmental plan for them.
Which disciplines are on life support; and what can be done to revive them?
If the right type of financial assistance and investment is given to other sports; like Basketball, Swimming, Tennis, Rugby, and Cycling; to name a few, then given 5-35 years; the nation would definitely be much better off for it. Noteworthy initiatives are already in place for these sports; including, but not limited to the Tour Du Ghana (Cycling); the aforementioned GAA Open Championships; and also the Accra Milo Marathon (Athletics); The Legon Sharks Swimming Invitational (Swimming) and many more; and while these are commendable efforts; a lot more can be done; by starting with ensuring that facilities are properly maintained.
Our attitude towards maintaining public edifices is awful; (again, this cuts across all sectors in the country, truthfully); and sadly, that of sporting facilities is extremely grim; but don’t take my word for it, visit this link for someone else’s viewpoint. That mindset, additionally; has always been our bane as a country and has to be resolved now; if we are truly serious about developing.
Here are a few recommendations I have for the National Sports Authority (NSA), The Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the various Federations and Associations; as well as all other relevant stakeholders in the industry; to not only save but ensure that the legacy of sports thrives in our beloved country.
- Don’t be afraid to spend money (wisely) to revamp the image of a sport or discipline; be bold to seek the right type of partnerships with the private sector to ensure transparency and sustainability of the project.
- Outsource/lease projects where necessary; to ensure the rehabilitation and maintenance of sporting facilities; done efficiently and routinely; in order to prevent a financial strain on the taxpayers and government.
- Work together with educational bodies and local assemblies or other relevant institutions to attract the youth from an early age; and if possible provide reasonable incentives to all parties (the school, family and individual) in order to properly motivate and keep the talents focused.
- Reward our sporting heroes and additionally package them to the general public; as worthy role-models (celebrities, if you will); as this would not only enhance their brand; but also the image of their discipline.
- Pay more attention to the “lesser-known” sports. Ghana could really succeed in disciplines like Boxing, Cricket, Rugby, Kayaking, Swimming, Hockey and Athletics; (just to name a few) with better support and organization from us.
Based on the content provided; I hope that this article has the desired effect and contributes in no small way to improving the state of sports in Ghana; also making it worth our while as proud citizens of this country. Kindly like and share if you appreciate my contribution; also be sure to leave your thoughts and suggestions as well; either as comments or privately if you prefer. Thank you.