Sports: AMASS marches on
By I. K. Gyasi
For an unprecedented fourth year in succession, from 2009 to 2012, Kumasi T. I. Ahmadiyya High School has won both the boys' and the girls' trophies in the annual competition organised in the Ashanti Region by the region's branch of the Schools and Colleges Sports Federation.
For the benefit of the uninitiated, let me state that every year, the region organises the sports competition at two levels. These levels are the Zonal level and the Super Zonal level. The popular name for the games is Inter-Co.
At the Zonal level, the competing schools, consisting of both public and private ones, are grouped into four zones.
At the end of a Zonal competition, the first four top schools are selected to go to the Super Zonal level. Thus, for the Super Zonal competition, sixteen schools usually compete.
It is at the Super Zonal level that T. I. Ahmadiyya Secondary School, Kumasi, popularly known as 'Real Amass', has topped in the four successive years mentioned above. As for the Zonal Level, the school has lost count of the number of times it has qualified for the Super-Zonal level.
The credit for the unprecedented achievement goes to the immediate past Headmaster of the School, Mr. Y. K. Agyare, the current Headmaster, Mr. Yacubu A. B. Abubakar, the student athletes, the general student body, the teaching and non-teaching staff, the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) and certain sports personalities in the region, who contributed immensely to the training of the student athletes.
As was done last year, the school honoured the athletes and the other contributors to the sporting success in a big way. Special prizes in cash and kind were given at a special function organised in the school.
The Headmaster ordered a big bull, which was slaughtered, to provide refreshment for the whole school.
The honour to the student athletes was well earned, because the athletes did not just win the Boys' and Girls' trophies, but also won other trophies and broke records.
For the Inter-Co Boys, Martin Etsey broke the Long Jump record, while Malik Yacubu also broke the 5,000 metres record. For the Girls, Elizabeth Dadzie also broke the Triple Jump record.
At the Super-Zonal level, Martin Etsey broke the Triple Jump record, while Nyamadi Atsu broke the Javelin record. For the Girls, Elizabeth Dadzie broke the Long Jump, the High Jump and the Triple Jump records, while Adelaide Nkrumah, popularly known as 'Agoogo', won the 400 metres race. The girls' quartet won the 4 x 4 and the 4 x 100 metres races. Records were broken too.
The boys' overall total for first position was 141, with Opoku Ware coming second with 83 points. The girls won with 164 points, followed by GHANAMY (Ghana National Academy) with 86 points.
In addition to the top trophies for the Inter-Co and Super Zonal, the school also won the trophy for the Girls 4 x 400 and 4 x 100 metres races, and the Boys Cross Country race.
As if these were not enough, the school grabbed both the Over-all Best Athlete for Field Events for Girls in the person of Elizabeth Dadzie, while Nyamadi Atsu took that for the Boys.
The school stormed Kumasi in a victory procession to showcase the unprecedented achievements. To crown it all, on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, the Headmaster led a delegation of staff and students to Manhyia Palace, where they were graciously and approvingly received by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene.
The visit to Manhyia Palace was not just the publicity, much as the Headmaster and his delegation welcomed the graciousness with which Otumfuo received them. There is an unbreakable umbilical cord that ties the school and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana to the Manhyia Palace.
It was Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II who donated the land for the present premises of the school. He not only gave away the land, but also found the time to lay the foundation of the school. In addition, he donated sand and cash of £200 (Two hundred pounds sterling). That was way back in the fifties.
Before Barima Matthew Opoku became Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, he was at one time a member of the school's Board of Governors. Even when he became the Asantehene, he graciously requested that his position on the Board be maintained. He used to send a chief as his representative on the Board.
When Barima Kwaku Dua became Asantehene with the name Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, a combined delegation from the school and the Mission that called on him to congratulate him expressly requested that he continue to follow the 'tradition' of Otumfuo Opoku Ware. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II readily agreed. Since then, he has ably and diligently been represented at meetings of the Board by Nana Darko Mprah II.
Among the persons specially selected by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to constitute the Board of Trustees of the Otumfuo Education Fund are Maulvi A. Wahab Adam, the Ameer (Head) and Missionary-in-charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, and Mr. I. K. Gyasi (my humbly self), both old boys of the school.
When Otumfuo Osei Tutu II became Asantehene, he generously gave away cash to assist certain schools. The school was one of the lucky recipients.
Otumfuo has graciously received the head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. He has also graciously received a copy of the Holy Quran in Twi, with the translation done by Alhaji Yusuf Ahmad Edusei, a senior Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Mission. A delegation, led by Maulvi A. Wahab Adam, made the presentation.
With this kind of harmonious and fruitful relationship with Manhyia, it was only natural that the school should inform Otumfuo of what had been achieved by his grandchildren.
As the Headmaster told me in a conversation after the call at Manhyia, the delegation was overwhelmed by the kind reception Otumfuo accorded them.
Otumfuo warmly shook the hands of every member of the delegation, both staff and students. He was full of praise for the school for the sporting achievements.
Even more important, Otumfuo advised them to be studious and disciplined. Of course, Otumfuo need not worry, because the school is well known for its strong academic presence in our tertiary institutions, and for its insistence on discipline. Still, the visit to Manhyia Palace was a morale-boosting one.
In all, the school won 14 gold, 12 silver and 6 bronze medals. The Headmaster and staff are aware that the impending departure of such athletes as Atsu Nyamadi, Martin Etsey, Emmanuel Dasor, Charles Sasu and Cecilia Asekiya can pose a challenge in next year's competition.
However, they are still hopeful. After all, for over fifty years, the school has continued to make its presence felt in the sports arena, in football, athletics, table tennis, volleyball, etc. Its light in sports is NOT about to be extinguished.
Long live REAL AMASS.