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17.04.2007 Business & Finance

Stakeholders To Discuss Sports Bill

After almost three years of paperwork, the bill that is expected to give sports a major facelift in the country is ready.

This week the draft which has seen major legal work carried out on it by experts in both Ghana and abroad is to be presented to the major stakeholders in sports for them to scrutinise and make their input.

It will then be presented to Cabinet and then forwarded to Parliament for consideration and subsequently passed into law.

By the schedule from the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, the draft will be ready for Parliamentary consideration by their next sitting.

The highlights of the 72-page document seek to set up a National Sports Authority (NSA), a National Sports College (NSC) for academic and professional study in sports, regulate the establishment of Sports Academies and Centres of Excellence, as well as set up a Sports Trust Fund.

Under the proposed bill, the NSA will be expected to promote, facilitate and support the establishment of a national governing body for each sport, as well as provide an overall strategic national sports and sports tourism policy framework.

One other major change the bill is expected to give sports administration in the country will be the election of officers to the various sports associations, a breakaway from the old system where members are appointed.

The National Sports College will also be strengthened to have a true professional attitude capable of training sports professionals in addition to providing opportunities and facilities for research in and development of sports.

Under the proposed bill, no one can establish a Sports Academy or Centre of Excellence without first obtaining a license from the sector Ministry. The licence will have to be renewed annually and it being issued is subject to meeting some criteria to be set by the ministry.

In the case of the Sports Trust Fund, it will help solve the 'no money' problem that has often bedevilled the smooth and successful running of sports in the country.

It will help provide funding for scholarships and bursaries for sportsmen and sportswomen, help set up a fully equipped Sports Medical Centre in addition to providing some form of welfare or pension scheme for retired sportsmen and sportswomen.

Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, Deputy Minister of MoESS who was in charge of the drafting of the bill, described it as a “thorough process which will make sports derive the benefits it deserves in modern day administration.”

He said he was sure the stakeholders were likely to agree with the contents of the bill and there will not be the need to spend any more time working on it.

The stakeholders who will have access to copies are the National Sports Council, the Ghana Olympic Committee, all the national sports bodies as well as the Sports Writers Association of Ghana.

Story by Rosalind Amoh