The attention of the Ghana Swimming Association (GSA) has been drawn to a Facebook post by Ms Sara Asafu-Ajdaye, which seems to denigrate the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the wake of Ghana’s sterling performance at the just-ended 15th CANA Swimming Championship in Tunisia.
The Facebook post read: “A shame our Ministry of Youth & Sports didn’t see fit to sponsor Team Ghana, but big shout out to the passionate parents who raced around at the 11th hour soliciting donations from private companies to cover airfares etc, Ayekoo.”
We would like to unequivocally state that the disparaging post does not represent the views of the GSA and we entreat the general public to regard it as Ms Asafu-Adjaye’s personal opinion, albeit unsupported by facts on the ground.
We wish to set the records straight by stressing that the GSA funded about 85% of the cost for the team’s participation in the 15th CANA Swimming Championship in Tunis, Tunisia. Some parents, with the permission of the GSA, covered the rest of the cost in order to give opportunity to their wards to participate in the event and consequently gain exposure. There was no need to solicit the support of the ministry for the event.
Indeed, the GSA has enjoyed a cordial relationship and the support of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for a long time. The cost of the swimming pool facility at the Trust Sports Emporium was fully covered by the Ministry for the GSA to host the 14th CANA Junior and Senior Swimming and Open Water championship in October 2021; and in May this year, the Ministry bought tickets for Team Ghana to participate in the 8th CANA Zone 2 Swimming and Open Water Championship in Dakar, Senegal where the team secured Twenty- Nine (29) medals.
As regards the 15th CANA Swimming Championship in Tunisia, Abeiku Jackson won gold in the men’s 100m butterfly, giving Ghana its proudest moment as the national anthem was played for the first time at a major continental swimming event. At the end of the competition, Ghana placed 5th on the overall medal table ahead of heavyweights like Nigeria and Senegal. As a matter of fact, the Hon Minister of Youth and Sports, as a keen follower of swimming, did not hesitate in sending a congratulatory message to Abeiku Jackson, the GSA and the swimming fraternity in Ghana.
We take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ghana Olympic Committee, the National Sports Authority and the parents of our athletes for their support to help Ghana swimming get to where it is today.
Issued and signed by:
MUNIRU M. KASSIM
GENERAL SECRETARY OF GHANA SWIMMING ASSOCIATION