31.07.2001 Sports News

Sports Festival for "Kayayei" And Truck Pushers

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Mr. B.T. Baba, President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) has advocated a sports festival for "kayayei" and truck pushers to unearth hidden talents for the benefit of the country.

He said deprived youth in the streets and market places must be seen as reservoirs of rich talents of diverse sporting disciplines that calls for proper organisation to bring out and develop their potentials.

Mr Baba made these remarks at a seminar organised by the Women Sports Association of Ghana (WOSPAG) under the theme "Developing Leadership Skills Among Women...the role of Ghanaian women in sports."

Later in an interview with GNA Sports, Mr Baba charged them to "go beyond the school sports programmes and extend their activities to the deprived

children in the streets carrying goods and pushing trucks, and you will be surprised at what most of them can do.

"We will be doing a great disservice to this country if we continue to concentrate only on the schools' sport programmes as a means of developing sports only at the school level."

He said "kayayei", truck-pushers and "shoe-shine boys" who are deprived of education due to numerous reasons have develop a high sense of determination through their struggles in life and have that ability of reaching whatever goal put before them.

"Clear examples are soccer stars Samuel Osei Kuffour of current European champions Bayern Munich and Charles Taylor, a member of Accra Hearts of Oak Africa Cup winning squad who were all once shoe-shine boys, as well as James Toney, the boxer who was also once a truck pusher" Mr Baba said.

He said with support from sports administrators and concerned NGO's in the country, such children could be mobilised effectively through encouragement, adding "they themselves are already organised."

Mr. Baba said to promote women's participation in sports, the onus lies on mothers who normally discourage their daughters at tender ages from taking to sports.

He charged WOSPAG to see this dream as a ground upon which more women could be encourage to participate in sports adding that "the likes of Alice Anun, former national 100 metres champion and others could have all not hit the limelight if it had not been for sports.

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