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04.10.2008 Sports News

Athletics Set For Overhaul

By GNA - newtimesonline.com

Athletics stakeholders have rooted for a shake up within the fraternity towards restructuring the sport in the country. Ghana athletics is on a decline mission and the stakeholders believe Congress is one of the many ways to halt the nosedive.

The call for an early Congress therefore reigned supreme among members of the Athletics family during the first ever annual Athletics Stakeholders Forum, held on Thursday at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium, Accra.

The one-day forum, an initiative of some foreign-based athletes including Dr.

Andrew Owusu and Professor Francis Dodoo and attended by officials of the National Sports Council, Ghana Olympic Committee, Athletics Coaches, Administrators, past and present national athletes, brainstormed on issues that they deemed to have led to the sudden decline of the once lively sport.

Administrative lapses was highlighted as a major obstacle to the progress of the sport with emphasis on the call for a Congress to elect new executives to effectively run the sports' controlling body, with the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), remaining the talking point.

Dr Owusu reiterated the tumble in the sport which he said manifest in the nation's poor performances at recent international games and underscored the need to save it from total collapse.

"People are disillusioned about the current state of athletics, but we are keenly aware that the nation's love for the sport is more than skin deep as evident by the public uproar following the dismal showing at the Beijing 2008 Olympics."

Dr Owusu said it was time the welfare of the sport and expectations of the citizens are placed at the fore.

"To make progress, we will require all hands on deck, a collaborative approach and participation by all, not for personal gain, but of the core of the belief that Ghana Athletics can do better."

Mr Adjin Tettey, a former Athletics Administrator also supported the call and assured of his unflinching support towards the revival of athletics in the country.

"We will fight till the end, when it even means going to the President to bring the sport back to its feet," he added.

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