The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has gone to the aid of Ghana’s team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with the announcement of a timely sponsorship package for the team.
At a special send-off cocktail for the team attended by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Joe Kpenge, Chief Executive of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) boss, Francis Dodoo and officials and athletes of the team, the GNPC announced a sponsorship package that would cater for flight tickets of the entire contingents plus per diems for the period.
It was a welcome news for the sector minister who especially could not hide his excitement over the package said it was very timely and averted a possible fiasco.
According to Mr. Vanderpuye, the ministry had become nervous as a result of uncertainty over how the athletes would fly to Rio due to financial constraints.
“GNPC has done something unprecedented for sports in Ghana by divesting into other disciplines and urged other corporate entities to come on board and support the bid to produce world champions in all the sporting disciplines.”
With the support from GNPC, Mr. Vanderpuye expressed the confidence that Ghana would soon become a force to reckon with in disciplines that hitherto were considered minnows.
Chief Executive Officer of the GNPC, Mr. Alex Mould announcing the entire package said the Company will widen its support for sports by offering a sponsorship package to be accessed by all the sporting disciplines in the country.
What that mean is that disciplines previously considered as least financed or less-known would all benefit from this package that is expected to give Ghana sports a major lift.
“GNPC would support the flight tickets and per diems for the athletes and officials making the trip as part of our commitment to divest into other sports.”
According to Mr. Mould, sports form part of an integral part of the company’s activities as far as Corporate Social Responsibility was concerned and it was best to support other sports apart from football.
“We would support hockey, swimming, boxing and other disciplines. We are currently working with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to develop a framework to that effect”, he stated.
He said the GNPC would support athletes to qualify for the next Olympics – Japan 2020 – as they look forward to a bigger contingent.
GOC boss, Francis Dodoo said Ghana is presenting a young team with most of them as first timers but optimistic they would make a mark.
He added that, “this is the largest contingent the country has presented since 2000 and all the athletes have great potentials.”
Athletes present at the event include Beatrice Gyaman and Dorcas Gyimah of the female relay team, Abeiku Jackson (swimmer), Abdul Wahid Omar (boxer) and weightlifter Christian Amoah.
The team left yesterday for the event and would be joined by other Ghanaian athletes from their respective bases outside the country to make up the 16 for the Games.
Ghana would compete in five disciplines including weightlifting, athletics, swimming, judo and boxing.
By Michael D. Abayateye