The Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), in collaboration with Ghana’s mission in Japan, has secured a pre-games training camp in the Japanese town of Inawashiro to accommodate Ghanaian athletes for their preparations towards the XXX11 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to be held in Tokyo next year (Tokyo 2020).
The agreement, which was sealed last month by the President of the GOC, Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah and the Mayor of Inawashiro, Mr Hiroshi Zengo, will ensure the provision of free accommodation and feeding for at least 30 athletes, coaches and other staff.
The athletes will also be provided with all the requisite training facilities during their stay before moving to the Games Village.
The facilities include 10 badminton courts, two basketball courts, three volleyball courts, 50 tennis tables, two judo areas and a multipurpose gymnasium.
In addition, a bus shuttle will be put at the disposal of Team Ghana, while each discipline will be provided with an interpreter. Other facilities are the Inawashiro sports athletics stadium and a boxing arena.
Sources at the GOC told the Daily Graphic that prior to the visit and stay of Team Ghana for their pre-games training, a delegation comprising the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Isaac Asiamah; the GOC President, Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah; Ghana’s Chef d’ Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Games, Mr Paul Atchoe, and some media practitioners will visit the Inawashiro town by the middle of this year to firm up other exchange training programmes and agreements.
The sources said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during his recent visit to Japan, also visited the town and expressed gratitude to the Mayor for the gesture.
Ghana and Inawashiro town of Japan have had a long relationship due to the exploits of a renowned Japanese doctor, Dr Hideyo Noguchi.
The town is named after lake Inawashiro, which is about 200 metres away from Tokyo.
The training facility is located about 522 metres above sea level and keeps the summer temperature around 28 degrees Celsius.
Presently, many Ghanaian athletes and federations, as well as Ghana’s Under-23 male football team, Black Meteors, who have missed out of the Olympic Games for sometime now, are preparing earnestly towards their respective qualifiers for the Tokyo Games in 2020.