The Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Prof Peter Twumasi says, he expects to see a sharp increase in the budgetary allocation for sports following Ghana’s success at the 2020 Olympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan recently.
He disclosed to the Daily Graphic that his outfit gets a fraction of the GHC10 million he is allocated and if lucky gets five million, this according to him doesn’t augur well for sports development in the country.
“At the National Sports Authority maybe the whole year, probably I’m given about 10 million Ghana cedis and I’m able to access about 5 million, what can you do with this?
“So if the federation is not able to secure some support, sponsorship from other organization, then they suffer,” he added.
He said as the leader of the government delegation Samuel Takyi’s feat in getting a first medal for the nation in 29 years at the games makes a strong case for sports budget allocation to be reviewed.
“Samuel Takyi’s medal in boxing underpins why the country should increase its budget allocation for the sports ministry which in 2020 stood around GHS 40 million, I think you are right [the budget] has to go up”. He told the Daily Graphic in an interview.
Aside Takyi’s feat Team Ghana made a number of impressions during the games when the men’s 4x100m relay team booked a place in the final with a time of 38.08 seconds, first final since Olympic Games in Atlanta 1996.
The team in the process of achieving this feat broke the national record which stood at 38.12 seconds set at the 1997 World Championships in Greece by the quartet of Aziz Zakari, Emmanuel Tuffour, Abu Duah and Eric Nkansah.
Joseph Paul Amoah also ran the fastest 200m time of 20.35 seconds of any Ghanaian athlete at the games. In swimming, Abeiku Jackson who topped his heat also broke his own national record and Christian Amoah of weightlifting also broke a national record and is currently ranked 12th in the world in his weight division.
“The President’s commitment is there and I think what we have to get done should be how it can be reflected in the finance minister’s budget for next year,” he noted.
“The whole of the ministry of youth and sports, our budget is not more than 40 million cedis, if you convert it, it’s less than $10 million, what can you do with this”? He quizzed.
He stated that the amount pale in significance to other budgetary allocation given to other Ministries. “It is like an amount for a department in the Energy Ministry or education and this is what is being used for all sporting federations”. he noted.
The highlight of Ghana’s remarkable achievement at the Olympics came through boxing when Samuel Takyi snatched bronze in the sport which Ghana won it’s last medal in 49 years.
The entire nation was thrown into wild celebration after the youngster won Ghana’s first medal at the Olympics in 29 years with the nation’s last medal coming back in 1992.
Despite this success in boxing at the Games, the sport is one of the least financed sporting disciplines in the country.
The NSA over the years has been embarking on initiatives to recruit talents from these sporting disciplines, however, the authority has lacked the requite resources and support to maximize its search stream in order to achieve its long-standing mandate of unearthing talents and enhancing sports development in Ghana.
Professor Twumasi called for a new source of funding for sports and called for a re-look of the football only mentality that occupies the minds of duty-bearers in the country.
“So it’s time for us to look at the financing of some of these federations because we have realized that, it’s not only football that can give us that joy,” he noted.
Source: Daily Graphic
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