Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Yussif has disclosed that Ghana’s first sports policy will soon be launched to guide the administration of sports in the country.
According to the minister, the comprehensive policy, which was initiated by his predecessor, Mr Isaac Asiamah, is currently undergoing review and would soon be completed and serve as a blueprint for sports development in Ghana.
“It is important to have a sports policy in the country which would give attention to all sports especially the least financed sports,” he stated.
He was speaking when the newly elected executives of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) paid a courtesy call on him in Accra on Monday.
The visit was aimed at introducing the new executives to the Minister and Vice Versa and begin a working partnership aimed at sports development in the country.
The minister also disclosed that a sports development fund would be put in place to make it easier for federations to access funds for their activities.
Consequently, he urged all federations to submit their annual strategic plans and programmes that would be considered in the minister’s subsequent document.
“Cabinet has approved for the ministry to start work on the sports development fund and would call on federations to get their input in developing the fund that would serve all sports,” he stated.
He said they would also develop grassroots sports by reviving the inter schools or community sports which would require the support of the GOC and the Ghana Education Service (GES).
“We need the support of the GOC to achieve our objectives of putting Ghana back on to the point where we were considered a sports country and won laurels at international competitions including the Olympic Games,” he stated.
“We want to have adequate preparations to ensure that more athletes qualify and win medals at the Tokyo Olympic Games,” he stressed.
He congratulated the new executives of the GOC and urged them to leave a mark that would be remembered by all as far as sports development in the country is concerned.
President of the GOC, Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah also congratulated the Sports Minister for his elevation and optimistic that they could work together to develop football in the country.
“Let us work together and change bad perception around sports as well as attract sponsorship from corporate entities,” he stated.
He urged government to allocate enough budget for the Ministry of Youth and Sports as the current budget is extremely low.
“The current budget would be exhausted if the Black Stars play a couple matches. Government must also invest in athletes for a long term to ensure they win medals at international competitions,” he stated.
“We will continue to support the minister as done under Mr Asiamah to achieve his objectives,” he stressed.
The GOC executives introduced to the minister include, Secretary General, Mohammed Sahnoon; Treasurer, Frederick Acheampong; Mr Isaac Aboagye Duah, Mrs Delphina Quaye, Mr Albert Frimpong and Mr Mike Aggrey.
The rest were, Mr Paul Atso, Mr Jerry Shaib, Mr George Lamptey, Mohammed Mahadi as well as Dr Bello Bella Bitugu.
The occasion was also used to introduce the new Chief Director at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Hafiz Adam to the GOC and the media.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE