Ghana won a total of 43 medals at the just ended maiden edition of the West Africa Polytechnic Games held in Lagos, Nigeria.
Led by Takoradi and Accra Polytechnics, the nation plucked three gold
medals, eight silver medals and 32 bronze medals, with the former placing 8th and the latter picking up the 39th position in the competition which had 59 Polytechnics from the 16 West African countries participating.
The Ghana Polytechnic Sports Association (GHAPSA) on Wednesday
presented the medals to Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of Education, Science and Sports and his deputy, Osei Bonsu Amoah in Accra.
Professor Ralph K. Asabere, Chairman of the Conference of Polytechnic
Principals (COPP) who led the delegation said they were motivated by the ministry's swift response to their request for funds for the trip, despite its unscheduled nature.
He therefore called on the ministry to allocate resources for sports
equipment for the Polytechnics to promote sporting activities, which he said are effective tools for the socio economic development of the country.
Prof. Asabere said GHAPSA has taken note of it mistakes during
preparations towards the Games and assured the ministry that they will make available budget for the next Games to be hosted by Cote d'Ivoire in 2008, by speeding up the process.
Papa Owusu Ankomah said it is an obligation to provide governmental
assistance to educational institutions to realise their dreams in the various sectors.
He therefore charged the Polytechnics to factor sports into their
annual budget to enable the Ministry to meet such budgetary demands in due time.
The Minister said the achievement of the Polytechnics at the Games is a true reflection of success for government's decision to merge the
Education and Sports sectors.
Papa Owusu Ankomah said sports has transcended beyond a recreational
activity and therefore require some level of academic excellence to succeed.
He said this new development has called for the need to introduce
scholarships for talented students in the tertiary institutions as a way of encouraging more students to continue with sports at the tertiary level.