Accra, Oct.22, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday said Ghanaian sportsmen and women should not be blamed for their poor performance in competitions.
He said the major problem of Ghana sports has been the failure of the sports administrators to keep up with the development of sports that was treated as something for amateurs whilst other countries developed their sports.
President Kuffour made the observation when he met Ghana' s medal winning teams at the just ended 8th All Africa Games held in Abuja, Nigeria, at the Castle Osu.
Accompanied by Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, President Kufuor shook hands with each of the medal winners and commended them for their high performance and lifting the flag of Ghana high.
He said " whilst other countries developed their sports with high technology, Ghanaians sportsmen and women were left on their own to use their own devices to develop their raw talents".
President Kufuor said it was therefore, up to the nation to prepare the infrastructure and motivate the sportsmen and women to win more laurels for the Ghana, adding " a lot more need to be done to restore our normalcy to stardom".
He said the playing fields were not good and government was determined to work on the stadia in the country to enable talented sportsmen and women achieve their best for the nation.
President Kufuor deplored the situation where sportsmen and women use their own monies to sponsor themselves to participate in tournaments for the country and directed the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to re-imburse all the sportsmen and women who sponsored themselves to the Abuja games.
He said the Abuja games should be the stepping stone in the preparation for the Olympic Games next year and appealed to the National Sports Council (NSC) to begin camping of the contingents immediately at least enough period to adequately prepare for the games.
"We should give our sportsmen and women the right nourishment, resting periods, treat and manage them with the appropriate techniques available for sportsmen and women competing for championship", he added.
With regard to improvement in the country's performance in football and boxing, President Kufuor said it required more scouting since the country abounds in many talents.
He said their achievements in the Abuja games bore testimony to Ghana's talents in sports and commended the handlers, coaches for assisting to uplifting the flag of Ghana high.
President Kufuor however, cautioned them not to rest on their oars but endeavour to train hard to win more laurels and restore the country's lost glory in sports.
He appealed to the NSC to make good use of their coaches particularly those in the tertiary institutions, provide them with the necessary technical know-how and motivate them in order that with good management the sportsmen and women would win more medals from the next Olympic games to be held in Athens, Greece.
Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports said since the Africa games began in 1965 in Congo Brazzaville and Ghana won 12 medals with the highest medals of 27 in Lagos, Nigeria in 1973, this year's medals of 23 was the highest for the past 30 years that Ghana had participated in the games.
He said efforts would be made to improve on sports infrastructure in Ghana to unearth more talents for Ghana to retain its lost glory in sports.
Ghana participated in 11 disciplines out of 23 and emerged 10th with ten medals in Athletic, three each from Tae-Kwondo and Weightlifting with one each from Boxing, Football, Hockey and Table Tennis. 22 Oct.03