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15.04.2008 Business & Finance

Stakeholders Urged To Reject Privatisation Of Sports

By Raymond Ackumey - newtimesonline.com

Stakeholders of sports in the country have been called upon to reject the privatisation of sports because should such a move be implemented it will be a total violation of one’s human rights.

'Every human being has a fundamental right of access to physical education and sports, which are essential for the full development of one’s personality.

'The freedom to develop physical, intellectual and moral powers through sports is a human rights guaranteed under the United Nations Charter on physical education and sports and the Olympic charter'.

These were the views echoed by the secretary general of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) Mr. Albert Tettey, at the end of a two-week judo course in Winneba over the weekend.

Mr. Tettey explained should such an idea be implemented, sports as a tool for health promotion and maintenance of both physical and mental health the world over will die here in Ghana.

According to him, access to sport and physical activity is recognized as a fundamental right for all, in accordance with article 1 of the 1978 International Charter of Physical Education and Sport of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Mr. Tettey said it was incumbent on governments, public authorities and schools at all levels, to join forces and plan together so as to provide and make optimum use of installations, facilities and equipment for sports and not private entities.

Privatisation of sports, according to him is 'putting a price tag on sports and its facilities in the country and this will only urge the citizenry to lead sedentary lifestyles which leads to illness, such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and deficiency in the development of the bones and muscular systems, among others'.

'Such an action will only go to overburden the paltry national kitty in a sense that monies which should have been used to build more infrastructures for the country will rather be spent on building more hospitals and buying drugs to cater for such illnesses that could have been averted by just exercising.

He said it would also put impediments on individuals to exhibit their talents in that sportsman and women will have to pay to use national facilities to train and should they not have the means to pay, the nation will be denied of a potential world champion.

'Under such a structure schools and colleges will be deprived of the opportunity to hold sports championship at national facilities to unearth, harness and grow more talents for the country', he added.

The retired educationist and sports administrator further stated that sports is an effective tool that seek to promote closer communion between peoples with disinterested emulation, brings solidarity and fraternity, mutual respect and understanding as well as full respect for the integrity and dignity of human beings and quizzed why it should be put into the hands of a private individual or institution who could one day decide that no one should take part in any sport.

To this the GOC scribesman called on stakeholders not to undo such a fundamental human right by privatizing sports in the country.

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