Some young athletes, mostly from the Greater Accra Region, last Saturday went wild after the Cowbell national under-15 marathon race and nearly attacked officials of Future Professionals for deceiving them.
Although the event was meant for u-15 athletes, the organisers, Future Professionals, did nothing to stop overage participants from registering, and duly collected ¢10,000 registration fees from them.
Unknown to the athletes, the sponsors, Promasidor, producers of Cowbell Milk, had not budgeted for athletes who fall outside the 15 years age bracket.
So when the prizes were presented to winners, excluding them, they charged on Sam Ashley, Chief Organiser of Future Professionals.
They physically battled him and his men over the few products the sponsors had allocated for officials. And when they (athletes) failed in that attempt, they harassed the officials for their registration fees.
But Mr Ashley, fuming with rage, told the Graphic Sports the boys were fully briefed before they registered. “They told me they wanted to use it as a training programme, so was I wrong in registering them?”, he asked.
Asked why he collected registration fees when the programme had been fully sponsored, Mr Ashley said the registration fees were to be used as honorarium for officiating officials since that was not catered for by the sponsors.
The main event itself was won by Eric Tawiah of Good Better Best school, Winneba. Tawiah, 14, clocked 49:57 sec to win the 15-kilometre race.
He was presented with GH50 (¢500,000) and some cowbell products by the Darkuma Mantse, Nii Okai.
Philip Amartei, 15, a granduand of the Teshie Presby school finished on 50:30 sec, while 10 year-old Shaibu Bentum of the Mataheko One Primary School clocked 52:43 to finish third. They took home GH 30 (¢300,000) and GH20 (¢200,000) plus Cowbell products respectively.
Joyce Arhin of the Awodume Three J.S.S. won this year's event with a time of 54:54 sec. She was followed by Joyce Denu of Nsawam Presby and Adjo Aboma of Bubuashi Two Primary respectively.
Some 500 children raced from the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex through New Times Corporation, Mortuary Road, Mamprobi Post Office, Korle-Bu, Zongo Junction, Kaneshie Market, Obetsebi-Lamptey Circle, Darkuman Post Office, and Kokompe to the Accra Academy High School.
Story by Daniel Kenu