The Ministry of Youth and Sports with its agencies say they are poised to move sports from its current state to a better place to drive economic growth.
This was made known by the sector minister, Mr Mustapha Ussif at the recent meet the press encounter on Sunday, May 8, 2022 at the Ministry of Information.
According to Mr Ussif, the Ministry has trained over 2,000 personnel to collaborate and celebrate international events and programmes.
He announced that 113 athletes have so far qualified for the 2022 Commonwealth Games coming off in Birmingham and added that preparations were on course. Some of the disciplines are athletics, badminton, weight lifting, hockey, beach volleyball, table tennis, and para sports
Ussif spoke about the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA and at the current super performances of some amazing Ghanaian athletes like Ben Azamati, Joe Paul Amoah and Deborah Acquah.
He said the reason the athletes are shining is that the government is investing in sports and stressed that there are more opportunities coming up.
On the African Games 2023, he recounted how Ghana won the hosting bid in 2018, and hinted preparations were far advanced on the ground at the University of Ghana, Legon, where the Games Village would be sited.
Describing the preparations as impressive, the minister noted that a hybrid system would be used to leverage on existing facilities as they build new ones at Borteman to be completed by December and also be turned into a Sports University.
About 55 African nations including Ghana with about 5,000 athletes will participate in the Africa Games, which would also boost tourism in the country.
He mentioned that sports facilities are being built all over the nation while the Ministry is working with the Right To Dream model for football.
Plans, he said, were advanced to ensure that the Black Meteors qualify for the next Olympic games too.
Mr Ussif also commended all the national teams that have qualified for various international events like the Black Stars for Qatar, Black Princesses for Costa Rica, Black Maidens for India, and praised Sekondi Hasaacas Ladies for the victories last season.
He commended Coach Otto Addo for leading the Black Stars to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and suggested that he and his staff should be maintained for the next African Nations Cup, as they also prepare for a 4 Nation Tournament in Japan.
He promised to light up the Inter Schools and Colleges Sports events, and hailed boxing champions like Samuel Takyi, Isaac Dogboe, Robert Quaye, George Ashie, Holy Dorgbetor, Alfred Lamptey and others, commending the Ghana Boxing Authority for organsing the Pro Boxing League.
According to the Sports Minister, Government will soon complete the Regional Resource Centers which were started byhis predecessor, Mr Isaac Asiamah, and also hinted that the nation now boasts of over 90 astro turfs, 30 of which are on going, while they came to meet only two.
He noted that bilateral relations have also been established with some embassies and international bodies for technical assistance and exchange programmes to develop grassroots sports.
On E-ticketing, he said it has come to stay at all government stadia, as it is simple, reliable and transparent.
Hon. Ussif revealed an aggressive support base for Team Ghana at upcoming international events, such as the Commonwealth Games and World Cup.
He called on corporate Ghana to invest in Ghana Sports, and more support for his ‘Project One Million Balls’.
By Nana Prempeh|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana