The Ghana Association of the Blind (GAB) has signed an 18 month agreement with the Danish Sports Organization of the Disabled (DSOD) to aid it towards the establishment of a national sports and recreational wing in the country.
As part of the agreement which was signed in October 2008 to July 2010 and covers an amount close to 80,000 dollars, the Association is expected to train its leaders, Sports Volunteers and organize sporting and recreational activities for its members.
Mr Alexander Williams, National Sports Coordinator for GAB disclosed this at the inauguration of the National Sports Wing of GAB and the opening of a one- week Training Workshop on Sports Organization and Leadership skills at the Ghana Social Club Centre in Kumasi.
He said that the workshop was also to give the leaders quality leadership training, draw strategic development plan, draft a constitution for the wing and equip each region with the knowledge in the teaching and training of blind persons in goal ball, show down or Table Tennis, discus and Javelin throws and other sprint events of athletics.
Mr Williams paid glowing tribute to Mr. Armand Baum, Manager of Wellness Programme of League of Friends of the Blind in South Africa, Kevina Fischer, a Danish Development worker with GAB, Madam Lene Van Der Keur, a DSOD Board member, who collaborated with him to gather experiences to establish the Sports wing for the blind.
Mr Peter Obeng-Asamoah, Director of GAB on behalf of the National President of the Association, who later swore in National Executive members of the Wing, said the Association has youth and women’s wings and 82 branches nationwide.
He called on the Executives to be accommodative, courageous and make every member feel part of the activities of the wing at all levels.
Prince Ernest Oduro-Mensah, Chief Executive Officer of the National Sports Council (NSC), expressed the Council’s support for the wing stressing that a nation that wants to develop needs to have peculiar and special agenda for sports in its totality.
Mr Chaoki El-Anidi, Manager of the Ghana Social Club said that the doors of the Club was open to GAB and other Disability Sports and prayed that they train hard not only to improve their health but also inculcate discipline and a good spirit sportsmanship.
Mr Francis Amedor, Ashanti Regional Secretary of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled Sports called for unity of purpose and close collaboration in their programmes and activities.
Madam Beatrice Afranie Okese, a Circuit Supervisor at the Methodist Educational Unit, who presided, urged the Association to work hard to attract other visually impaired persons on the streets begging into their fold to earn some vocation.