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26.09.2001 Sports News

Awere Appeals to the Minister

By GNA
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Ghana's ace long jumper Mike Anthony Awere has appealed to the Minister of Youth and Sports to replace the current tartan tracks at the Accra Sports Stadium as it present state makes training very difficult.

Speaking to the GNA Sports in Accra on Wednesday, the Germany-based athlete said the nation has a lot of potential athletes who could bring honours to the nation if training facilities were improved.

"Even though the facilities here are not encouraging, the athletes who train here perform creditably when they meet other competitors with better facilities; so it would be in our own interest if those facilities are improved.''

He said because of the poor the facilities, the number of athletes keep on decreasing rapidly and if efforts are not made to save the situation, the nation would be left with no athletes to represent her in international competitions.

The 1999 All African Games bronze medallist said age would soon catch up with some of them so there is the need for the young ones, who would replace them to have good facilities to train with.

He regretted that huge amount of money is spent on football to the detriment of other.

" I have realised in the past that, they like using the money on only 22 players who would bring one medal than individuals who could bring medals. If they will come to our aid greater things will be achieved.''

The athlete who is currently preparing for the Commonwealth games in Manchester next year attributed his success so far to his local coaches.

Awere appealed to the authorities to camp athletes early when they are preparing competitions.

He regretted the situation whereby authorities wait till the last minute before calling athletes to camp, stressing that this is not good enough.

Asked why he could not participate in the athletics championship held in Edmonton this year, Awere who ranks third in Africa and 44th in the world said he failed to make the qualifying mark.

He however said he has been consistent this season and hoped to win a medal in the Commonwealth games, He appealed to the Ghana Amateur Athletic Association (GAAA) to look for sponsorship for them.

Awere said he has three more years before retiring and to take up coaching.

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