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20.01.2006 Sports News

Nkegbe appointed athletic ambassador in Ghana

By GNA

Sunyani, (B/A) Jan. 20, GNA - The Ghana Chapter of the Right To Play, (RTP) Ghana Chapter, an NGO under the United Nations has appointed Mr. Raphael Botwey Nkegbe, a 25 year-old disabled Para Olympic athlete as its latest surrogate of athletic ambassadors in Ghana. The appointment brings to seven the total number of the NGO's athlete ambassadors in the country.

The RTP started operating in Ghana in November 2001 with the goal of the RTP SportHealth Project to use sport and play as tools to enhance healthy child development.

Other objectives of the Project are to build individual capacity, strengthen community partnerships and networks and to use the power of sport to support national health priorities for immunization, HIV/AIDS and disease prevention.

An elated Nkegbe told the GNA Sports in an interview on Friday that his appointment did not come as a surprise to him since his track record as a disabled athlete depicted excellent performance over the years. "Some years back, I took part in most of the international competitions and in all these, I managed to grab a medal for Ghana. This

might have done the trick," he noted. Mr. Nkegbe who is based in Sunyani appealed to the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) to promote sports associated with people with disabilities.

His appointment, which is for a year would be subject to renewal based on his performance.

The athletic ambassador is expected to inspire, educate and motivate the youth on health issues and encourage them to achieve greater heights

in their chosen endeavours. The UN NGO's other athlete ambassadors in Ghana include former World Boxing Champion, Azumah Nelson, Black Queen's soccer player, Alberta Sackey, former Hearts of Oak's Emmanuel Osei Kufuor, Disabled Cyclist, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and Margaret Simpson as well as Vida Anim, both sprinters.

'Sprinter in wheel-chair' Nkegbe is a three-time Para-Olympic silver medallist at the international championship in the Netherlands in 2004 by courtesy of Respond, an NGO. Nkegbe also participated in the Germany Open and won a bronze medal and was the only disabled Ghanaian athlete who took part in the Para-Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and reached the semi-final stage.

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