Government has approved a budget of approximately $1.28m for Ghana’s participation at the 12th edition of the African Games in Rabat, Morocco from August 16-31.
The amount will cover expenses of the 139 athletes and officials of Team Ghana to the multisport event opening tomorrow, where Ghana is presenting a lean team of 91 medal hopefuls plus technical handlers and management officials.
This was contained in a statement released by the National Sports Authority (NSA) on Tuesday.
Included in the budget are special bonuses announced by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) for athletes that excel in their respective disciplines.
The new bonus package will see athletes receive $3000 winning gold medals, $2000 for silver medalists and $1000 for bronze medal winners.
With regard to team sports such as football, badminton and others, each athlete would be entitled to an amount $2000 for gold medal, $1500 for silver medal and $1000 for bronze medal.
This is a massive beat down from the $5000, $3000, $ 2000 prize monies enjoyed by athletes that won medals at the previous games at Congo Brazzaville.
Commenting on the budget, the Director General of the National Sports Authority, Prof. Peter Twumasi, said it was very important that the budget be made known to Ghanaians, after its approval.
“We presented a budget to Government through the Youth and Sports Ministry and we have gotten an approval so it was important we made it available to Ghanaians to ensure accountability and transparency throughout the process.”
Meanwhile, the second batch of athletes for the Games is expected to leave tomorrow.
The disciplines making up the second batch includes; boxing, fencing, cycling, karate-do, badminton, table tennis and athletics.
According to the International Games and Competitions Committee (IGCC), which have been tasked to oversee to all international events and chaired by Professor Peter Twumasi, everything regarding flight arrangements from Ghana to Morocco, busing of athletes to games village, hotels and training have been sorted out already without any hitches.
He noted that, though Team Ghana would be leaving in batches, each discipline would get there days before their competitions start, which would afford athletes some rest ahead of their respective games.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO