The Executive Chairman of the Accra 2023 African Games Local Organising Committee (LOC), Dr Kweku Ofosu-Asare has hinted of organizing oversees training programmes for athletes, technical officers and administrators ahead of the Games.
Next year, Ghana will host the continent’s biggest sports festival for the first time since the Games started in 1965 in Congo Brazzaville.
According to Dr Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, the LOC has plans of making arrangements for athletes to travel to competitive countries to fully prepare and equip them before the quadrennial event.
“When you take boxing, for instance, we are looking at a country like Cuba and we intend to make arrangements to take them there. We have asked the Athletics Federation heads to identify the countries where they have competitive athletes we can tap into,” he told Times Sports in an exclusive interview last week.
Dr Ofosu-Asare said the LOC would engage astute minds who will aid accomplish the task.
“We have a programme to train athletes with the help of Dr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah (Chief Operating Officer of the LOC), who is an expert in monitoring athletes and their growth.
“Indeed, when it comes to boxing, we will call on Professor Azumah Nelson to assist in the selection process to train these boxers. Also well-structured plans have been put in place to acquire the necessary tools for that,” he asserted.
The Accra 2023 LOC Executive Chairman insisted it was very prudent to bring down expert trainers to provide extensive training programmes for technical officers and administrators when hosting events like the African Games, adding that the focus should not only be channeled to the athletes.
“When hosting events like this, you do not only focus on the athletes, but also prepare your technical officials by inviting expert trainers down to provide extensive training for them. If you look at those in administration, there is the need for them to be trained as well; so the training programmes will be for administrators, technical officers and athletes.”
Dr Ofosu-Asare was confident two more multi-purpose halls under construction should be completed within the next couple of months in addition to the facility at Borteyman.
“With Borteyman, we have the aquatic centre, tennis court, multi-purpose sports hall for indoor games, whilst the ongoing two multi-purpose halls should take care of the judo, karate, badminton and all the indoor events.”
He stressed that the LOC was working assiduously with the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Ghana to refurbish the Legon Stadium – which would be used for football, rugby and athletics whilst cricket and squash will take place at the Achimota Park.
The Accra 2023 Executive Chairman disclosed that hockey would be held at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium with the opening and closing ceremony taking place at the Accra Sports Stadium.
BY LINUS SIAW NARTEY