Accra, July 8, GNA - Mr Johnson Cliff Aboagye, Chairman of the Ghana Weightlifting Association (GWA) has bared his teeth at the neglect of the sport by authorities despite the impressive performance achieved by members of the association in the last All Africa Games held in Abuja, Nigeria.
"Having won three medals at the last All Africa Games from our own effort, we thought it was going to attract the attention of the authorities to come to our aid but this has rather been the opposite". Mr Aboagye in an interview with the GNA Sports said they have not been given any form of support since their arrival from Nigeria about three years ago and this has gone a long way to hamper the development of weightlifting in the country.
He sad that though weightlifting has the potential of winning more medals for the country at international events, the absence of financial support has relegated the sport to the background, and nobody seems to care about their progress.
Mr Aboagye, who could not come to terms with the reason behind the failure of the authorities to support the sport, said weightlifting had been neglected for too long and it's about time the Ministry devotes some level of attention to it by injecting funds for its development. He said despite the abundance of talents in the country, the association has not been able to embark on talents hunt because there are no funds to make such undertakings.
The GWA Chairman lamented on the delay in the release of their annual budget from the Ministry as well as its failure to help the association secure weightlifting equipment worth 2,500 dollars".
He said "Ghana would have made more gains in the sport if a percentage of the financial support given to football is extended to us, because we have the potential to lift the image of the nation high on the international scene".
Mr Aboagye said Nigeria, the over-all winners of the last All Africa Games achieved this feat because of the high number of medals they recorded from the weightlifting category, adding that Ghana can make similar gains if the sport is given the needed support.
He said the sport could also attract the needed support if funds are released to the Association to organise activities to portray to the corporate world that the sport exists.
Documents available to GNA Sports reveal that the association is yet to organise any of its programmes as the end of June and this has been attributed to lack of funds.
The association, according to its programme is to participate in the Africa Weightlifting Championship in August this year, but indications are that they might not take part because they will not be able to raise the needed funds for the programme. The GWA early this year presented 120, 000,000 cedis and 33, 109 dollars as their annual budget.