President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah says the objective and reasons for the special 10 day-visit of world-class sprinter Jamaican Asafa Powell and his wife to Ghana was achieved.
He told Yours Truly in an exclusive chat, Powell came to Ghana to inspire and motivate kids not to limit themselves to only football, but they can achieve in other fields, especially Track and Field which is his passion.
According to Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah who was former President of the Ghana Weightlifting Federation, executive of Ghana Cricket as well as a member of Accra Hearts of Oak management, Ghanaians kids should be given the opportunity to explore to find their potential in the sport or professions that they can excel in.
“Seeing Asafa smiling and watching kids at Achimota Basic School and the Nima Cluster of Schools run made me very happy, however, we should give them the right facilities,” he said.
According to Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah, the visit exposed the capital’s lack of Track and Field facilities and appealed to the government to complete the facility at Kaneshie for the community.
The GOC President who is a member of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 13th African Games to be hosted in Ghana expressed that Asafa Powell’s visit was a huge motivation for national athletes whom he met at the Accra Sports Stadium.
He noted that Athletics is big in some African nations like Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria and Cote d’Ivoire.
He believes Ghana can also regain its status as a superpower in Athletics if the kids and youth are encouraged, because, in the 1960s and 1970s, Ghana was beating Jamaica, Britain and Australia at international meets like the Commonwealth Games when the likes of Mike Ahey, Billy Lomotey, Okoe Addy, Ohene Karikari, George Daniels, Dan Philips, Alice Anum, Rose Hart and others were performing.
He noted that the visit of Asafa Powell and his wife, Alyshia who happens to be his niece was really positive and inspiring.
During the visit, Asafa Powell went to Cape Coast to see St. Augustine’s College which has produced many sportsmen for Ghana and the castle.
He was also hosted by the Ghana Carribean Association (GCA) and Mr Francis Boateng, Chairman of Mobility Technologies.