The Executive Board of the Ghana Taekwondo Federation (GTF) on Saturday visited the National Team at their training to explain why the president had to leave the athlete for the 2019 World Congress / Championship in Manchester, UK.
The President, Mr. Fred Otu Lartey and two other Board members, as well as the GOC Director of Communications, encouraged the team to be focused and keep training to adequately prepare themselves for the All African Games in Morocco in August this year.
Plans to put together a Team Championship in July to enhance the team's preparation were revealed by the president who was not happy to leave his players at home when the world congress and championship was going on.
On issues concerning the Manchester Championship, it was discovered that the players did not apply for their visas on time as they had to go forth and back preparing documents for the High Commission, so they were late and the president went alone.
However, the trip of the president was very fruitful as he was able to meet some top officials and secure some contracts for Ghana and got some donation of uniforms for the team.
The players and their coaches apologised for the miscommunications that led to negative publicity in the print and social media.
It was also known that most African countries failed to acquire the visas to travel to the United Kingdom, and the case had been referred to the world Taekwondo body to intervene and in future support African participants.
Eunice Adedapo, one of the 5 athletes who was supposed to compete in the Manchester Championship (one of two sponsored by Italian based Coaches, Charles Cromwell, Domenico Le’rario, Giorgio Pillolla, and Luca Antonio Bertone), apologized to the Board on behalf of the team and appreciated the effort of the president in helping some of them pay for their visa processing fee.
“I want to say sorry for all that happened during this Manchester trip. The Social Media publication was wild and we understand how you feel because we know how you helped us.”
Head Coach of the team, Maxwell Theodore Alornyo assured the President of the team’s association to the Social Media publication in appreciating how they’ve all worked together but yielded to nothing.
“President, I think most of us here know what happened with regard to processing for the visa. I want to believe that none of us here either associated ourselves with the post.”
The president advised the team to put behind them what happened and forge ahead as there are more important things in the future.
He tasked them to learn their lessons well and in future, put measures put in place to ensure such mishaps does not occur again.
President Otu, in his address to the entire team explained the effort made by all involved including himself to acquire the visas and expressed his dissatisfaction in the turn of events on social media which suggested he abandoned the team for the World General Assembly.
“I had to apply for my visa separately after returning from World Taekwondo Africa General Assembly because at that time the team had started their process already. I came in to support but unfortunately, things didn’t go as expected. I left with permission from the NSA and approval by Board members. Some of you the athletes saw me here a number of times, going up and down, trying to get things done. At a point in time, I worked with your Head coach and Selasi at GOC Office. How can I bring scouts from Italy to pick athletes to sponsor and then abandon the athletes?”
“My going which was necessary has also brought good things for us. Meeting with Daedo manufacturer for discussions on the usage of their products and discount offers; Generation 2 of the Protective and Scoring System for us; sponsors for our upcoming Team Championship in July and others. On this note, we want to encourage you to keep your commitment to training, and motivate yourselves as All African Games approaches.” He added.
The President presented a set of branded T-shirts and tracksuits donated by Charles Cromwell and his team in Manchester.