GHANA POLICE Service last Friday emerged overall winners of the just-ended Security Services Sports Association (SESSA) Games with 15 gold, 16 silver and 9 bronze medals.
The 10th edition of the SESSA Games, sponsored by Stanbic Bank, assembled 210 sportsmen and women from the security services with participants competing in various disciplines such as Athletics, Basketball, Soccer, Table Tennis, Handball, Hockey, Volleyball and Tug of War.
Defending champions, Customs Exercise and Preventive Service (CEPS), which was accepted as a full-fledged member of SESSA Games in 1989 after its inception in 1987, managed to settle in second position with 13 gold, 6 silver and 6 bronze medals.
However, the host-and-win slogan failed to materialize as the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), hosts of the competition, could only fetch 11 gold, 17 silver and 18 bronze medals to finish third ahead of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) who had 9 gold, 6 silver and 5 bronze medals.
Ghana Prisons Service, who won gold in male Handball due to their experience in the last Handball Club Championship in Benin, and Ghana National Fire Service, were in 5th and 6th positions respectively.
Investigation conducted by DAILY GUIDE SPORTS revealed that Ghana Police Service has been very consistent since the Games were revived in 2003, lifting the tournament hosted by the Ghana National Fire Service the same year.
The following year when CEPS hosted the Games, the Police Service and Ghana Armed Forces finished on top of the table with six gold medals each.
In a speech read by Miss Elizabeth Ohene, the Vice-President, at the closing ceremony, noted that the President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, earlier on “opened this Jubilee Games with a call on all competitors to remain mindful of the objective to promote unity within the Security Services to engender national security, progress and development.
“I was told that during the week of the Games, nearly 200 sportsmen and women of the Security Services exhibited the President's expectation to admiration,” he stated.
The Vice-President said it was therefore his privilege and honour to be closing the games after one week of friendly hostilities that brought out the best of athletes in the security services.
He revealed that he had followed these games keenly since their revival in 2003, and he was convinced that the noble objectives of the games had been achieved.
“ I am aware that this year's games saw more patronage and that venues were filled to capacity during the course of the tournament. Public interest had also been great. There were crowds of civilians at the various venues to witness the games and cheer the competitors,” he pointed out.
He added that the Police Service has remained unbeaten for nearly 20 years in Volleyball, but this year, their long-standing reign was broken by the Prisons Service.
“Ghana CAN 2008 is just around the corner; barely three months away. If what we have seen displayed here in the past one week, in terms of passion, enthusiasm, competitiveness, professionalism and organization, is anything to go by, then Ghana 2008 presents a far greater opportunity to exhibit our collective potential at hosting international tournaments,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, DAILY GUIDE SPORTS investigation has revealed that since the SESSA Games was revived, no institution has won the Games as hosts.
Newly-crowned champions Police was officially given the mandate to host the next event, at a closing ceremony that saw Lt Gen J.B. Danquah, Chief of Defence Staff, handing over the mantle of hosts to Mrs. Mills Robertson, Deputy IGP in charge of administration.
By Pierre Toto