The Good Side And The Challenges Athletes Go Through In School Sports That We Don’t Talk About It – An  Awal Mohammed Sulleyman Story

The Good Side And The Challenges Athletes Go Through In School Sports That We Don’t Talk About It – An  Awal Mohammed Sulleyman Story

Awal Mohammed Sulleyman hails from the Oti region of Ghana. He was born on the 12th of April 1995 at Ejisu. Awal has four sisters and a brother. He started his primary education at Ejisu experimental M/A school but later move to Weweso M/A, Basic School in Kumasi where he began from class two (Basic 2) in 2002 and completed his primary education in 2007. He again started his Junior High School education in the same place of which he completed in 2010. Unfortunately, due to natural phenomena like Awal fell sick and couldn’t continue to the senior high that year. He had to stay back home for a whole year. In the following year, he later joined the Fumsua Anglican Junior High School in 2011 to rewrite the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) again, he later got admission to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Senior High School in Kumasi, Ashanti Region. All these while in school I never tried running because in my former school, which is Weweso we weren’t actively part in athletics so I used to play active soccer throughout my basic school. The Good Side And The Challenges Athletes Go Through In School Sports That We Don’t Talk About It – An  Awal Mohammed Sulleyman Story.

Athletics Career

Senior High School (SHS)

The Good Side And The Challenges Athletes Go Through In School Sports That We Don’t Talk About It – An  Awal Mohammed Sulleyman Story
Awal in action (Inter-House Games)

I realised I could run in SHS 2, one day, I went to the field to train Javelin, at the Paa Joe Sports Stadium. On that faithful day, my house was having a justify to select athletes for our upcoming Inter-House Games. I sat there to watch them and I told myself later that ahhh, why? but I can also try who knows if I can beat them? Allah has been so good I tried and I was first in the trial, so I got the chance to run for my house that year’s Inter-House Games in 2013. During the competition, I ran 200 meters of which I placed 3rd both in the heat and in the final, we placed 2nd in 4 × 200m, 3rd in the medley all my help inclusion. I had the chance to be selected for the school’s athletics team. But I never liked the idea since I wasn’t recruited into the school as a sportsperson. But I later joined when I was in form 3. I had my first competition for my school during the Inter-Schools and Colleges Games in 2014 in 4 × 200m. Also competed Super-Zonal well.

Tertiary

The Good Side And The Challenges Athletes Go Through In School Sports That We Don’t Talk About It – An  Awal Mohammed Sulleyman Story
Awal (Red Kit) at 2020 GUSA Games

I started my tertiary education in the year 2016 at the University of Education, Winneba in the Central Region. There I was fully prepared and my journey in athletics began when I was in level 100 but I never took it seriously since I wasn’t having the energy to compete at that moment. I couldn’t qualify to the finals in the men’s 100m. I later switched from 100m, 200m to 110m hurdles. I had my first competition during the inter halls games, where I placed 1st and I had the chance to join our school’s athletics team for the Ghana University Sports Association (GUSA) Games in 2019. I was last in the 2019 Mini GUSA Games in Cape Coast. In 2020, I competed in the GUSA Games where I did my personal best time but unfortunately too, I placed 4th. My able coach Abubakar Mohammed of KNUST helped revive my dead sporting carrier of which I am much grateful to him.

National Level

In 2020, I had the chance to compete in the Circuit Games at the Esippong Sports Stadium, Secondi-Takoradi, Western Region. I placed 3rd to Anobel of University of Development Studies (UDS) and Barnabas Dompe of the Ghana Army Athletics Team and University Cape Coast (UCC). During the coronavirus pandemic (covid-19) period my athletics carrier was put on the hold from the last circuit to date, I am not done with athletics yet because I am still training under my coach, I hope and pray I bounce back stronger than before.

Education Plus Sports.

The Good Side And The Challenges Athletes Go Through In School Sports That We Don’t Talk About It – An  Awal Mohammed Sulleyman Story
Awal receiving award (first)

To combine athletics with studies is not that easy but it’s worth it, demands a lot of sacrifices, a lot of teachers had issues with me both in the secondary and in the tertiary. Because you will mostly become late in their class. But that didn’t let me stay at the dormitory as well, after where most athletes do, but I will go and face the teacher. In tertiary, the least said is better, mid-semester will be going on while you will be having inter hall games. Sometimes, you have to skip presentations in order to prepare well for the games but these never let me down I was able to graduate with a second class of which most people who never did anything in school were graduating with third class among others.

I can never say athletics hasn’t helped me in any way, the popularity alone is even enough for me. I didn’t offer any sports program but I little I learnt from my coaches is doing me good because able to train an athlete, give running tips, and also how to be an injured free athlete.

The Good Side And The Challenges Athletes Go Through In School Sports That We Don’t Talk About It – An  Awal Mohammed Sulleyman Story
During his National Service at the Barekese Senior High School

My small advice for those in the sports is that they should take it seriously, they shouldn’t just aim at only competing, here in Ghana, but at the international level as well. Respect and hard work is the key to surviving in the game. Athletics is not that easy in Ghana because we give less attention to it, but that shouldn’t scare us at all, togetherness and with that, we will get there.

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  1. Ibrahim, I’m proud of you. I pray you reach where ever you want to 🙏🏽🤲🏽📿 I hope to see you…

Don't allow your current situation today to define your tomorrow, there is always a way to change for better.