A former Chairman of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), George Haldane-Lutterodt, says athletics in Ghana needs a new direction to unearth and groom athletes who will compete for laurels on the international stage.
“It is sad to see the fortunes of athletics dwindle in recent times while the sport has also been engulfed with so much disharmony among the stakeholders who have been given the mandate to see to the development of the discipline,” he said.
Mr Haldane-Lutterodt, told the Daily Graphic that he had decided to contest for the position of the national chairman of GAA in order to unite the rank and file at the athletics front, and also to solve the myriad of problems bedevilling the sport in the country.
Describing himself as a unifier, Mr Haldane-Lutterodt, who was chairman of the GAA from 2001 to 2004, pledged to count on his background as an economist to mobilise the needed funds to bring back the fortunes of Ghana’s athletics.
GAA goes to polls on November 15 to elect a new national president, with the current president, Professor Francis Dodoo, in line to seek re-election, but Mr Haldane-Lutterodt is positive that with his vast experience he would topple Prof Dodoo from the seat.
The former athletics chief believes his stewardship as a former chairman of the association would serve as the testimony for which he would be the preferred candidate.
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He called for the reinstallation of the tartan tracks at the Accra Stadium, pointing out that the removal of the tracks was one of the major factors contributing to the declining state of athletics in the country.
He promised to bring back youth athletic competitions when voted into office, stressing that he would start from the basic and second-cycle schools.
“I would liaise with the Ghana Education Service (GES) to bring back the special athletics competitions in schools as well as form athletics groups across the country to make the young athletes more active,” he said, adding that he would also invlove former athletes, including Aziz Zakari, Margaret Simpson, Vida Anim and Ignisious Gaisah to offer their support to the activities of GAA.