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Sports in Ghana
June 10, 2019
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The state of sports in Ghana

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.

Sports in Ghana

The Bukom Boxing Arena (Image courtesy of the Ghana Sports Mail)

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.

Jamie says…..

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.

Sports in Ghana

A Ghanaian 4×100 relay team at a recent competition (image courtesy of Athletics Africa)

  • 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.

Wrapping up

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.

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