CEO of Ghana Athletics Association: Our Educational Policy Doesn’t Allow Sports In Our Various Schools.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), Mr. Bawa Fuseini went deep and digested why our athletes don’t perform very well here but do better when they travel outside for schooling.
“The time that these athletes are running am not saying that to demean our former athletes but they are running faster and their times do not come by an accident. It came through training, planning, coordinating, and policies. When we started sending these athletes to the United States of America to go and study and train. People so why do we develop our local athletes, why don’t we do this, and a whole lot. CEO of Ghana Athletics Association: Our educational policy doesn’t allow sports in our various schools.
We knew personally that when they go there they will develop faster because of their facilities, resource person, coaching, dietician, doctors, physio and the number of competitions they will get to in the school to compete. They won’t get the same thing when in Ghana here.
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So we said that building athletes from the scratch you need to do two things.
- To make the athlete have education
Education is their guarantee for their future because they are not going to run forever. At least I think around 30 years some of them will even stop running and they will have to move on. So if we don’t get the schools to be able to continue with their academic career and sports careers at the same time.
When they finish their sports career while their academics follows so we merge the two so at least you try to get your C, D and also perform a bit better in the athletic field, we can get you a school. So getting them the Division I and Division II was becoming a challenge.
So we said then let’s send them to the community schools, there the entry requirements there were not difficult as compared to Division I and Division II schools in the United States of America. So through that process, this initiative emerges. This plan started coming up about 4 years ago. The same team we took to the Common Wealth Games, I mean the 4×100m quartet team, Africa Games in Morocco and we won Gold in Morocco. They run a very faster time and this team very solid.
So moving forward, if we are able to manage this team very well and let them be at one place, to train together, I can guarantee Ghanaians that we will come back from Tokyo at least with a medal”.
Host: you made a point that the development of athletes is faster in the US, the problem of our education sort of the operation of the activities of the athlete or the growth is also another brain of athletes and the development of sportsmen and women in the country.
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What is the Ghana Athletics Association doing about that?
Because the other day when I spoke to Azamati, he said ‘’ they have planned his schools’ academic work and then all his training work, coaching, dietician, all well-planned. They don’t have one coach doing everything but in Ghana, the coach is doing everything”. But my concern is the last time when Dr. Bello was on the show and we asked him about the university level and it seems it’s the same old problem, where we don’t give any advantage or we don’t try to structure the academic work of sportsmen and women.
Why is it taking so long?
You are the CEO of the Ghana Athletics Association. Why are you not working with these Academic Institutions and Educational Institutions to ensure that this problem is resolved?
Because that is an asset to the growth of Ghana athletes.
Mr. Bawa Fuseini “yes, yes, yes in Ghana the coach does everything. Oh yes, I will not discrete that fact, but the issue is that the school’s authorities sadly some of them don’t see the importance of sports at the tertiary level.
I don’t miss your program so anytime Dr. Bello comes here I watch him, we were all here when the issue of the sports policy of this country. I taught we’ve got to pass that level that the academia will accept sports as part of student development. They will give students what we call academic grades for performing well.
In Nigeria, some schools if you go and win a gold medal they give you the grades. If you go to a competition to represent Nigeria and come back to Nigeria and maybe you were not able to come to lectures, they give you some points to help you pass your exams.
But here even when you are running for the universities and you are going to do exams, if you are not good they will fail you.
The system does not allow athletes to do sports at the university level”.
Part one of the interview. The next episode will be updated soon.
By Sekyere Richard