Over 25 sports associations and federations have endorsed the candidature of Ben Nunoo Mensah, President of the Ghana Weightlifting Federation as the new incoming President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC).
The GOC goes to the polls in March 15, 2017, and the sports federations have found it idea and better to work as a team to put Ghana Sports in shape again.
Over the past years, Ghana Sports has not been the way Ghanaians want to appreciate because they have not been winning medals at the highest levels of competition like the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and even the Africa Cup where Ghana dominated in the past.
The over 20 sports associations have identified two major problems which are funding for development of sports infrastructure, competitions and training for the national teams as well as inability of the least financed sports to lobby government, parliament, media and other stake holders to support issues affecting their development.
After series on meetings, they have thought it wise to create a transparent and accountable GOC, which will involve all stakeholders in sports to work together at the board or in sub committees.
They want to lobby the Ministry of Works and Housing to name the GOC secretariat as “Olympic House” and invite the current president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to visit Ghana and unveil the new building.
The incoming GOC want the proposed Olympic project at Amasaman in Accra to be put up and developed for use by Ghanaian sports men and women.
As part of the renaissance agenda, federations would be supported by the GOC to pay international affiliation fees and make them active.
Various federations would be supported in their international assignments with the engagement of government to ensure that institutions like GNPC, BOST, GCB, ADB, GOIL and others adopt some national teams or sports disciplines.
The new GOC to be led by Ben Nunoo Mensah is aiming at raising a minimum of GHC 500,000 in its first year to support the GOC and other federations.
They also want to bring back the National Sports Festival in their second year and create opportunities and avenues for the media to upgrade their knowledge on various sports disciplines as well as support in branding and promoting all disciplines.
Ben Nunoo Mensah says he wants the GOC constitution reviewed to address grey areas like the creation of more membership from non-Olympic sports, organization of truly independent Elections and the serious involvement of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Ghana University Sports Association (GUSA) and the Security Services Sports Association (SESSA).
“I am a team players and I want every stakeholder to get involved to make Ghana Sports work again. I want 100% support and contribution” he expressed.
The new GOC want the Ministry of Youth & Sports to retrieve all outstanding monies owed to the federations and lobby parliament for tax exemption on sports equipment coming to Ghana from abroad.
They also want to create an annual awards scheme to reward outstanding and distinguished sports personalities as a way of motivation and inspiration.
The new GOC would also ensure that outstanding sports personalities are granted the opportunity to travel outside to improve their talent and skill.
The GOC goes to the polls on March 15, 2017, as nominations have opened for the various positions and sports analysts and observers are anticipating an incident free election.
Members of the EC for the GOC elections are Messrs Ken Ashigbe MD of Graphic Communications and Vice President of the Ghana Table Tennis Association, Thaddaeus Sory of the Ghana Football Association and Peter Zwennes President of the Ghana Boxing Authority.
There is also a Disciplinary/Grievance and Dispute Resolution Committee comprising an Appeals Court judge, Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu; President of the Handball Association of Ghana, Ken Dzirasah; former GOC boss, Benson Tongo Baba; GOC honorary member, Peter Kpordugbey; and former Ghana Rugby Association President, Gifty Annang Myers.
Nominations for the elections open from February 21 to March 7, 2017 with forms available at the GOC office located at Ridge in Accra.
By Sammy Heywood Okine