The John Mahama administration was planning to build multi-purpose stadia in Ho, Bolgatanga and Koforidua to help nurture talents as a way of transforming Ghana sports, Former Minister for Youth and Sports, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye has revealed.
Speaking to Nana Prempeh on XSports on TV XYZ Friday night, the former boxer and footballer said the decision was to get more talents to train in various sports disciplines to enable the country to compete at the global level.
Taking over from the late President JEA Mills, the Ododiodoo MP observed that Mahama brought on board some energy to the area of sports in the country and set a target for him as a sector minister.
“If John Mahama had won the 2016 elections, the transformation of sports in Ghana would have been the best. Nana, you wouldn’t be here talking about the challenges of sports by now,” the former GBC journalist noted.
“We knew the problems in the ministry so we planned what we were going to do with football, athletics, boxing, hockey. Our plan was that between 2016 and 2018 we were going to do infrastructure, human resource development, and all,” he added.
“And why we planned this was because of the 2022 Olympic games,” Vanderpuye disclosed “Our plan was toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics games as well.”
He continued, Our aim was that Ghana will get a medal at the Olympic games. We were not joking at all, with Professor Duodu, we focused on athletics because that is where the attention is during such games. There was a plan to make athletics attractive so some of the Ghanaian born abroad could join us and run for us.”
“Our first term in government was an incubation period to hatch our plans and make sports better,” he added and urged Ghanaians to vote for John Mahama when he contests the 2024 general elections.
“If Ghanaians want to see sports doing well in the country, they should vote for John Mahama again,” he urged.