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30.09.2003 Sports News

Abuja Games is a wake up call for the nation

By GNA
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Accra, Sept 30, GNA - Mr Rashid Bawa Minister of State at the Ministry of Youth Education and Sports said the 8th All Africa Games scheduled for Abuja Nigeria will be a wake up call for the nation to regain its past glory in sports on the continent.

Mr Bawa said Ghana has been in the dark for so long and the Games must be used as a launch pad for the rebirth of the nation in sports adding, "this is the time for the nation to come back home with more medals than the previous Games."

Mr Bawa said this when he paid a working visit to the various national teams who are billed to represent the nation at the Games. He fraternised with players of the various disciplines such as table tennis, athletics, male and female Volleyball team, boxing, tae kwondo, handball, judo and the karate do.

The minister said the government is fully behind the teams and there is the need for them to rise above other competitors to enable the nation to achieve her dreams of making Abuja the turning point.

He said, "all of you have prepared well but your ability to burn a little more energy than your competitors will see you succeed."

Mr Bawa said the task of winning more medals at the Games could be a daunting one but said the privilege of appearing in the national colours should ginger them up to go all out to secure victories in their respective disciplines.

He said there is an excellent relationship between the governments of Ghana and Nigeria hence there is the need for the athletes to make discipline their key word in order not to mar the good relationship. Mr Bawa called on the athletes to respect the rules of the Games village as well as their respective disciplines in order to create a clean record for the nation at the event, as any act of indiscipline on their part will affect the diplomatic relationship between Ghana and Nigeria.

Mr Price Oduro Mensah Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Sub Committee on Sports who accompanied the minister urged the athletes to do their best to honour the nation at the Games.

He said "this is the time to build a new identity for the nation in sports since we are bent on rebuilding sports in the country."

Mr Oduro Mensah advised the athletes not to allow minor problems to derail their efforts, adding that they will always be available to help them solve any problem they might encounter in the course of the competition.

He reiterated the need for discipline in camp, as disciplined athletes are the most likely to win medals at the Games.

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