The Ghana Athletics Association (GAA)
The Ghana Athletics Association (GAA)
Did you know that that the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) was previously known as the Gold Coast Amateur Athletics Association (GCAAA) when it was founded in 1944? The GAA was founded before Ghana had its independence on 6 March, 1957. The GAA is responsible for coordinating the affairs and activities relating to athletics and athletes in the country. It is no secret that the development of sport in general – not just Athletics – in the country, is considered a sole responsibility of the government, but considering the seemingly inseparable bond that exists between the development strategies of sport and party politics, attempts to develop athletics in the country using strategies that are based on consistency, do not bear much fruit, and with regards to athletics especially, this is where the GAA comes in, with huge responsibilities on its shoulders, to respond to the current situation of athletics in the country, in whichever way it can. The Ghana Athletics Association (GAA)
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The GAA is the only certified body that has the authority to send Ghanaian athletes to all World Athletics International competitions. These certifications are usually granted to athletes that are deemed qualified, based on preferences made by national coaching squads, through results obtained from recent tournaments or competitions, national rankings, or national reputation. In some cases, trials are required to select the best talents for international competitions. Nevertheless, athletes can also register for other international races on their own, but there are specific events for which registration can be done only through the certified association, that’s the GAA.
The GAA, as one of its main objectives, has been directly involved in the development of young and upcoming athletes over the past few years, by employing strategies such as approving of competitions, scouting for talented athletes, among others. In recent times, athletics events that are being organised by regional heads or local community leaders, have gained the approval of the GAA, thereby certifying that particular event as one with some notable degree of recognition. The GAA also organises training and coaching courses for athletes and coaches, thereby highlighting its responsibility for any athletics activities that go on in the country.
The GAA has also recently adopted a strategy that involves consistent data collection and record-keeping. The athletes’ data, including records achieved during events, are collected and stored in databases that can be assessed in the future when needed.
Considering the current state of affairs within the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), and the recent developments, I think it’s safe to say that there are better days ahead for athletics in Ghana, and in my opinion, we all have a role to play. Currently, the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) has unveiled a new logo, and its alleged new name will be ‘Ghana Athletics’. We can’t confirm whether there will be a rebranding of the association or not, because there has not been any official communique regarding this alleged change of name.
The current governing body of the GAA is as follows:
President – Mr. Afelibiek Ababu
2nd Vice-President – Mr. Charles Osei Asibey
CEO – Mr. Bawa Fuseini
Deputy General Secretary – Mr. Jerry Shai
The names of some of the past GAA presidents from 1944 to date are as follows:
Mr. George Halden-Lutterodt is a former president of the GAA
Professor Francis Dodoo from 2010 – 2021
Mr. Afelibiek Ababu from 2021 – date
By Prince Allotey Addo