Army sports teams commended for brilliant performances
In a momentous celebration of sporting excellence, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, has commended the Ghana Army sports teams for excelling in inter-security agency, national, regional and international sports competitions over the past three years.
The 20 army sports teams have collectively clinched a total of 170 medals during this illustrious period, with an impressive breakdown that includes 85 gold medals, 52 silver medals and 31 bronze medals.
Addressing the enthusiastic gathering at the Nicholson Sports Stadium located at the Burma Camp in Accra, Major General Oppong-Peprah, with deep admiration for the sportsmen and women, attributed their success to the right attitude, unwavering commitment, and an unyielding spirit of determination that have consistently propelled them to be the best representatives for the army, their families and themselves.
"You made our material investments, sacrifices, and faith in you count, and for this reason, we shall continue to trust in you and support you. I commend all of you for raising high the flag and image of our cherished professional Ghana Army, the Ghana Armed Forces, and the nation of Ghana."
The army chief seized the opportunity to announce a GH¢50,000 reward package from the Ghana Army to members of the team.
The army sports teams, comprising both men and women, engage in a diverse range of sporting disciplines, including football, where the women's team recently secured victory in the 2023 Ghana Women's Premier League Super Cup, alongside basketball, handball, volleyball, hockey, table tennis, tennis, boxing, athletics, and bowling.
Additionally, the army sports teams have played a pivotal role in supplying talent to national teams such as the Black Queens, Black Princesses, Black Sticks (17 players), Black Bombers, Black Loopers, as well as the national badminton, athletics and volleyball teams.
Major General Oppong-Peprah said it had always been his dream to see the army sports teams competing among the best sports stars across the globe, which led to the recruitment of 170 sports people for basic military training in 2019.
These officers formed the foundation of the army sports teams, combined with the substantial support provided by the Physical Training and Sports Office under the guidance of Major Dickson Agalga, resulting in these exceptional achievements.
The COAS underscored the pivotal role played by the Army Headquarters as the primary sponsor, contributing through the acquisition of a 33-seater bus, funding for training, and supporting competitive matches. He also extended his gratitude to notable sponsors, including Paa Kwesi Amoah, Latex Foam Ghana, and Adolf Adjei of Sapholda.
Notable players of the team were commended, including Rashaka Katadat, recipient of the SWAG Volleyball Player of the Year, who has joined the Paolo Volleyball Club in Malta; and Seidu Fatima, a promising recruit.
Private Ankomah Emmanuel, released to a sports club in Australia, Staff Sergeant Ntaga George and CP01 Taylor Patrick, were also recognised for their exceptional performances.
The Army Sports Officer, Major Dickson Agalga, emphasised the pivotal role of sports in shaping a formidable security force, citing the benefits of enhanced physical fitness, teamwork, discipline, stress management, and leadership development. He noted that participation in sports instilled valuable traits like discipline and self-control, which directly translated into military duties.
Acknowledging the decline in performance in the preceding years to the reformation of the sports teams, Major Agalga identified key factors contributing to the slump, including a shortage of skilled and motivated athletes, a lack of competent coaching and technical support, inadequate funding for sports activities and transportation challenges.
To counter these challenges, a comprehensive sports recruitment drive in 2017 witnessed over 180 sportsmen and women undergoing Basic Military Training.
Additionally, the transportation woes were addressed with the generous provision of a bus by Major General Oppong-Peprah, who also extended support by covering registration and affiliation fees, among other interventions.
The commemoration ceremony was ushered in with a spectacular float, parading the hard-won trophies by the army sports teams, as they traversed the principal streets of Accra in a triumphant display of their sporting prowess.