GHANA Boxing Federation (GBF) president, Gideon Quartey says government has been sloppy in its support for amateur boxing in the country.
That notwithstanding, he believes the sport has a bright future despite the negligence on the part of government.
Speaking on Metro TV’s sports show, Sports Direct, yesterday, Mr. Quartey said there is laxity as far as support from government is concerned.
This, he told the programme’s host, Prince Annan, leaves the GBF with a lot of thoughts as to whether government is really interested in developing the sport that once held the flag of Ghana high.
But the GBF, he said, does not always rely on the government to pursue some of its development agenda, adding that, ‘there have been a number of times that we have raised our own resources to finance the activities of the national team which belongs to the state’.
According to the GBF president, Ghana did well in the past by performing acceptably in international games, crowning those moments with medals from the Olympic Games, Commonwealth games, All Africa Games and other low-profiled engagements.
Despite these achievements, ‘we cannot boast of any decent infrastructure where we can train members of the national boxing team (Black Bombers), let alone extend that courtesy to other amateur boxers scattered around the various gyms’.
In his view, boxing should be treated as Ghana’s number one sport because it has achieved a lot for the country with nothing to show for.
Mr. Quartey who assumed the reins of the GBF early this year said his administration is under pressure to finance activities of the federation with the provision of equipment and other logistics.
“We had to take responsibility for our participation in the Morocco Africa championship and the All Africa Games. At those two events, we had to use our own resources to procure jerseys for the national team with the nation’s flag embossed on it. That is not the best way to go.”
He said waiting on government to provide all the needs of the federation would mean no activity for a while, adding that, ‘this is why we try to look for some of the resources from our own coffers, hoping the government would reimburse us’.
But looking at the talents in abundance, boxing will see an improvement and a steady growth next year as a result of some of the attempts we are making to rebrand the discipline and present to potential sponsors next year.
By Andrew Nortey