The Chairman of the International Games and Competitions Committee (IGCC), Prof. Peter Twumasi, has explained that the decision to take only 14 sporting disciplines and 91 athletes to the African Games (AG) in Morocco on August 16-30 was not because there was no money.
Rather, it was a move to ensure that Ghana presents athletes in disciplines that can win medals; Prof said this yesterday in an interview with Accra based Happy FM.
The Committee which was inaugurated in March this year and charged with the responsibility of overseeing Ghana’s preparation and participation in the Games and was bent on ensuring value for money.
“Sports is not all about participating alone; it is also about making an impact by winning laurels to bring honour to the nation,” he told the radio station.
“We would not take about 300 athletes to an international competition for trials; the trials would be done here before major tournaments. We will also support individual disciplines to compete outside until 2023 and the Olympic Games.”
According to him, the Committee wants to use the value for money approach, saying, “If we say we would take athletes to games to represent us we must do so with those who have good ranking in the various disciplines on the continent and the world as well. We want to be sure they can return with medals.”
He explained that the quota decision followed an assessment of the standards and performance of athletes by the Technical Sub-Committee of the IGCC for the impending Games.
He said “Ghana will host the 2023 African Games; for that reason the Committee believes Ghana must start preparations early and very well towards it. Most of the athletes that have been penciled down for those Games are the local athletes. We must invest more in their local training as well as in infrastructure towards achieving success.”
Prof. Twumasi debunked the notion that IGCC had neglected the athletes to train on their own, stating that due to lack of infrastructure, some of the disciplines with their training equipment stationed at various locations have decided to train on their own.
“Many of the federations have their athletes holding non-residential camping and they are being supported at the moment. Some disciplines will be moving to residential camping this weekend in Cape Coast, whiles others like tennis have written to the IGCC to be allowed to train at the Accra Sports Stadium where they have better facilities to train with.”
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY