GUBA Discussion!!! : London 2012: Where did it all go wrong for Ghana?

The Olympic Games serves as a platform for nations to showcase the best of their sporting talents. Athletes train for years to prepare themselves for a brief moment in the spotlight. This highly anticipated event takes place every four years and sees the participation of over 200 countries. To ensure that each country has a good representation and potential to win medals, governments of most countries invest heavily in Olympic sports. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case for Ghana.

The Ghanaian contingent for the Olympics was very small to begin with, consisting of 9 athletes. Out of these athletes were 4 boxers, a weightlifter, a judoka, a hepthathlete and a long jumper. Despite the small contingent there was still hope that we might secure a few medals or at least reach a significant level in the games.  Optimism started to run out when two of our athletes dropped out due to medical reasons. Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t health checks imperative before starting any major sporting event? If that is the case, how did officials miss medical conditions that could hinder an athlete’s performance?

Also, none of our athletes advanced past the initial stages of the competition. This can be put down to a number of reasons: lack of proper training, lack of adequate facilities and lack of ability and support.  It is difficult to understand why a nation filled with agile young people still fail to have good, able representation for sporting events.

There have been a number of concerns raised regarding our poor show and performance at the London Olympics and many have showed their dissatisfaction towards the lack of proper management and system in place for Olympic sports. Amongst these concerns however, a number of valuable suggestions have been raised:

  • The Sporting council’s main focus is on football, that same effort, funding and time should be invested in other areas of sports.
  • There are a number of talented young people and we need to engage them from a young age in order for them to develop an interest and expertise. Therefore, athletic sports should be a part of the school curriculum (P.E).
  • There needs to be more transparency within the Sports council.
  • Potential athletes should be given scholarships by local organizations to attend sports institutions outside the country since there are no such facilities locally.
  • Talented athletes of Ghanaian heritage in the diaspora must be encouraged to compete for Ghana
  • Olympic athletes should be given some more support and media attention since they represent a nation – representation for Ghanaian athletics in comparison to British athletes was virtually non- existent

With the on-going Paralympics, we can only praise the athletes who participated for even managing to make the qualifications. A lot more support in a similar vein should be given to these special people who have made us so proud. Well done team ‘Para – Ghana’!

These suggestions could possibly hold the key to a better sporting system in Ghana and for future sporting events. Do you have any suggestions or views on sports and athletics in Ghana? Maybe you have a strong opinion about Ghana’s performance at the Olympic and Paralympics Games. If so feel free to share with us, Ghana values your input.

You can leave your comments below or contact GUBA via Facebook or twitter.

Discussion by Claudia Andrews & George Ameyaw

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