GAF 2021: Over 400 Athletes Have Registered So Far – Coach Moro Salifu
History is about to be made as Ghana Armed Forces Championship to host over 400+ athletes at Elwak Sports Stadium. The Head coach of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Coach Moro Salifu is overwhelmed about the registered athletes ahead of the upcoming GAF Championship. The maiden edition of the championship was done behind closed doors and it was competed by the service athletes only. The Ghana Armed Forces frequently organise a mini-competition to recruit athletes into the army. Since then they have made significant changes in their championships. GAF 2021: Over 400 athletes have registered so far – Coach Moro Salifu.
Athleticshour.com had an exclusive interview with the Head Coach of GAF, Coach Moro Salifu about the general preparation ahead of the upcoming championship.
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Interviewer: How is the registration of the championship?
Coach Moro “oh, am overwhelmed as am speaking now about 400 athletes have already registered. Even the Upper East athletes have arrived in Accra already with their head coach, Mr. Boniface. I have also received calls from Ashanti Region, Central Region, Upper West Region, Volta Region and they are all ready to come with their team. Some of the tertiary institutions have also registered their athletes, University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, and the University of Education, Winneba. I know some have registered in addition but now this is the overall number, 400 athletes”
Interviewer: What was the main aim of this championship? Besides last year was not open but this year is an open championship?
Coach Moro “the coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of damage to our sports now. Most of the athletics events have been cancelled and the athletes have been training always without any competition. Training without any competition makes athletics very boring and most of them lose interest in it. Our athletes have been camping and training for a long time. Since there was no competition we sit down and wanted to make a small event for our athletes but this time open for all.
The aim is to motivate the athletes and help them to be in good shape next year.
We made it opened because last year we saw that a lot of the athletes developed an interest and wanted to take part so this year we try that and the turnout is very good.”
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Interviewer: Are you doing all these on your own?
Coach Moro “No, my assistant Coach Clement has been very supportive and he is behind the success
of this championship. I do always seek advice from all coaches and the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) has also been supportive. After gathering all these ideas from there I brief my directors about it.”
Interviewer: How many years have this been existence?
Coach Moro “we have been organising but always closed doors and this is the first open championship organised by GAF. We have the largest athletics team in Ghana, West Africa. Currently, more than 100 athletes are under training. We have divided the team into 2, some are training in Accra and Takoradi. The Takoradi athletes will join the Accra team probably today. “
Interviewer: Are you going to use this championship to recruit athletes?
Coach Moro “hmmm, under the normal circumstances that’s what we usually do. We have the potential recruits who are now doing their medicals. So all athletes should take note that is not for new recruits. But all the directors will be around and if any athlete performs exceptional and the directors order me to take note of him or her, that athlete may have the chance to join the army.”
Some of the invited guests are the Ghana Police Service (GPS), Ghana Fire Service (GFS), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Ghana Prison Service (GPS), and Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS)
Coach Moro also revealed that Ghana Athletics Association will be around and all timings will be done electronically. We should expect that all results are certified and will be sent to World Athletics if any record is broken for verification.
The GAF Championship 2021 will be held on Friday 1 October at the Elwak Sports Stadium in Accra. It is a one-day meet and registration is free. All those who were not able to register online can still come because we will do manual registration for such athletes.
He also hinted that the Ghana Armed Forces will be organising series of races in 2022. More details of those events will be updated in our next post.
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