B.T Baba blames removal of tartan tracks of athletics fortunes

Author: Albert Tetteh Wayoe Jnr
Benson Tongo Baba
Benson Tongo Baba

A Former president of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), B.T. Baba, believes the removal of the tartan tracks from the Accra Sports Stadium was the beginning of the woes of athletics in the country.

During the renovation of the Accra Sports Stadium to host the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2008, the tartan tracks was removed in order to increase the seating capacity of the stadium.

This decision, the current Member of Parliament for the Talensi Constituency in the Upper East Region, blamed for the dwindling fortunes of athletics in the country because athlete had limited options to train.

“The athletes that used to train at the Accra Sports Stadium do not train here again because there is no track at the stadium. The National Sports Authority’s idea of taking the track field from the stadium has really affected athletics because they don’t get a place to train,” he said.

He further said the country was losing its talents in the sport because Physical Education (P.E) had become an optional subject where it was perceived that only the weaker students should do sports.

He stressed the fact that the country should recognise the effectiveness of P.E which mentored, nurtured and trained talents to become sports heroes.

“We are losing our sports men and women in our schools. The P.E subject has now become an optional subject where few students participate and it is affecting the sports development because this is a way to train our sports men and women.”

He added that sports administrators, coaches and P.E teachers needed special training to equip them to be able to impart the knowledge they acquired to the upcoming athletes so that they could learn the skills effectively.

B.T. Baba also highlighted the decrease in the Inter Schools and Colleges (InterCo) athletics as having a negative impact on sports development in the country which, he said, was the cause of the country not winning medals at the Olympic Games.

To the MP, the InterCo was Ghana’s primary source of getting the best of athletes to represent the country in international competitions but its ineffectiveness had hindered the success of the nation in athletics.