Akpokavie: Ghana needs special fund to grow sports

BY: George Ernest Asare
Richard Akpokavie- Former President of GHA

A former President of the Ghana Hockey Association (GHA), Mr Richard Akpokavie, has called for the establishment of a special fund solely for the development of all sports disciplines to accelerate their development.

“The only way Ghana can catch up with the rest of the world to enable our youth to compete favourably with their peers in all international competitions is to have a dedicated sports fund,” Mr Akpokavie, who is the current General Secretary of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), told the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview.

“Countries that consider sports as a serious business have established sports funds that are assessed for the development of all sports disciplines in their countries.

“By using the fund to participate in regular competitions at regular intervals, our youth will gradually nurture and develop their potential to acquire the fitness, skills and confidence in competing at the highest level and win medals for themselves and the country,” Mr Akpokavie explained.
The general secretary of GOC stressed that such funds should solely be accessed by sports federations to help achieve its intended objective.

“Sports federations should come up with a proposed budget and targets they want to achieve for a specific period. If they are able to achieve their targets, then they can get more funding and vice-versa. In this way, various sports disciplines will be transformed because the youth will be motivated to go into full-scale sports and compete at the highest level with their peers and win medals for themselves and the country,” Mr Akpokavie, who was a one-time skipper of the national hockey team, explained.

Mr Akpokavie, however, said there should be rules governing such a fund to avoid any misapplication
 “There should be rules in accessing the funds. They should go to support critical areas such as procuring equipment for training, participating in international tournaments, medical support, meals and other needs that will motivate the key players to focus on their training to be in top shape.

“If there are guidelines in using the funds for the purpose for which it was established, Ghana will soon catch up with the rest of the world and our youth will not only become stars but will also earn attractive income to support themselves, their families and the country,” Mr Akpokavie added.