06.11.2003 Sports News

Rashid Bawa calls for change in attitude

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Accra, Nov 6 - GNA - Mr Rashid Bawa, Minister of State in charge of Youth Education and Sports said the scope of organization and management of sports must change if Ghana wants to make a meaning impact on the world sporting map.

Speaking on Thursday at the media launch of the the 27th Olympic Games scheduled for Athens in November 2004, the minister said sports has become a multi million dollar industry that requires heavy investment and called for private sector involvement.

He said the trend where funding of sports became the preserve of the government must cease and be replaced by a new beginning that would infuse private sector participation in the national sports budget.

The minister said in order to achieve those objectives, each player, from the sports ministry, through the National Sports Council (NSSC) to the various sporting associations must change in scope and attitude and those who refuse will be forced to change or be replaced with others who are prepared to accept the new vision.

Mr Bawa lauded the Ghana Olympic Committee for mobilizing resources and spearheading a crusade to make Ghana sports glitter. He called on Ghanaians to come forward and make inputs into the Sports Bill which draft is ready.

The minister said to buttress government's determination to redeem Ghana sports, it has reintroduced the Security Services Sports Association (SESSA) Games which would take place at the El Wak Stadium from November 24 to 28.

He said Schools' Sports would also be revamped from the basic, through second cycle to the tertiary level in order to solidify the foundation from which the national teams will blossom.

Mr Bawa announced that the government would relay the tartan tracks at the Accra and Kumasi Sports Stadia and build a new one at the El Wak Stadium with part of an eight and a half million facility from Spain. He promised that Ghanaian athletes to the Athens Games would be offered the best opportunities to prepare, adding that the boxers would train in Cuba while series of matches have been arranged for the table tennis team.

Nana Akomea, minister of information appealed to the media to support the GOC by creating awareness about their programmes in connection with the Games because it is only when there is enthusiasm from the public that the programmes would succeed.

He advised them to endeavour to assist the GOC in syndicating sponsorship and promised that his ministry would sponsor media personnel who do well in that respect to Athens for the Games. 6 Nov 03

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