CHEF de Mission of Ghana’s contingent to next month’s 11th All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville, Saka Acquaye, has assured the nation of amassing a lot of medals at the quadrennial event.
Ghana produced a less-enchanting performance in the same event four years ago in Maputo, Mozambique, attracting a googol of public condemnation.
The nation was represented by 250 sports men and women in Maputo, between September 3-18, and returned home with 19 medals, made up four gold medals, six silver medals and nine bronze medals to place 12th among the 51 countries that participated in the multi-sport event.
However, Mr. Acquaye told the Times Sports on Monday that his contingent is hungrier for more medals and all-too prepared to banish the ‘phantoms’ that haunted the nation’s representatives four years ago.
“A lot of things went wrong the last time and that affected our preparations. But from what I see now, I can confidently say that we are in for great news in Brazzaville.”
Unlike the previous tournament where funds became a disconcerting issue, the Chef de Mission affirmed that “there is a massive improvement this time around.”
According to him, the government gave the National Sports Authority (NSA) GH¢175,000 out of the expected GH¢350,000 budget for the contingent’s non-residential camping, adding that though not enough “it helped us in one way or the other in our preparations.”
The government has earmarked an amount of $4m for the three-week Games, having already paid its affiliation fees of $35,000 that would pave way for Ghana’s participation.
Ghana’s contingent is expected to leave for the Games on August 27 – a week ahead of the start of the opening ceremony.
Mr. Acquaye explained that the early departure was to enable the contingent acclimatize and also use the host nation’s ultra-modern facilities before the Games.
The Chef de Mission appealed to able-spirited Ghanaians, corporate bodies and philanthropists to assist the nation’s campaign by financially contributing through the uniBank’s NSA Sports Development Fund accounts number 0210106032216.
Ghana is sending 16 sport disciplines to the Games and that consists of badminton, disabled/paralympic sport, karate-do, table-tennis, taekwondo, swimming, weightlifting, judo, volleyball (both indoor and beach) as well as tennis.
The rest are football (both male and female), fencing, athletics, taekwondo, cycling and amateur boxing.
By John Vigah