A five-day residential training programme for taekwondo referees is currently underway at the Korea Sports Complex at Tema Community Three.
The event, dubbed: Development of National Sports System (DNSS), was organised by the Ghana Taekwondo Federation (GTF) and sponsored by the International Olympic Committee.
The programme, which has 40 referees participating, officially opened on Tuesday, February 12 and is aimed at developing the sport in the country.
In the next three months, the GTF will organise three other development seminars beginning with the National Referees Licence Course, Administrators Seminar and the National Coaching Licence Course at the Korea Sports Complex.
At the opening ceremony, the President of the GTF, Frederick Lartey Otu, expressed appreciation to the leadership of the IOC, World Taekwondo Peace Corps and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea for their diverse contributions to the development of the sport in the country.
“We want to bring taekwondo officiating up to standard in order to give quality to our tournaments and reduce incidents of bad officiating. We will also train 20 administrators and secretaries in sports management, events planning and others to help in the development of the sport.”
He continued: “We will also train and give licences to 40 coaches from the regions to help these coaches establish taekwondo clubs in their localities and train more athletes.”
For his part, the Secretary General of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Richard Akpokavie, acknowledged the effectiveness of the Ghana Taekwondo Federation and advised participants to take the training seriously.
“We as GOC help the federations achieve their objectives in various ways. One of the ways is to seek support through Olympic Solidarity to run courses like these. It is important because for every country, the OIC can only sponsor one sport per year.
“There are over 28 olympic sports in Ghana and taekwondo was chosen because of what you have done in this country under the able leadership of your President. For those of you who are here for this course, it is very important to remember that you have not been invited to just be participants, but to learn and impart this knowledge as referees, coaches and administrators,” Mr Akpokavie said.
In attendance were Papa Asante representing the Director General of the National Sports Authority; Prof. Peter Twumasi; the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Kim Sungsoo; the First Vice-President of the GOC, Mr Paul Achoe; the President of the Ghana Swimming Federation, Theophilus Edzie; and President of the Ghana Armwrestling Federation, Charles Osei Asibey.
The referees and officials in a photograph after the opening ceremony