The world has a very different idea about track and field when we compare it to that of Ghana.
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In fact, before the 2003 Commonwealth games that were to be held in Manchester in England, the then president of Ghana JA Kufuor, after hearing the names of the athletes and the events they were participating in the Games, said that most of the athletes were only track athletes.
According to him, field athletes were different, and Ghana did not have the infrastructure necessary to get players involved in some of the field events. For example, Ghana did not have foam that is required for high jumpers to land on post the jump, nor did they have discuses or the like.
In fact, even the athletes when asked about their issues with the sporting arenas said that they were upset at the fact that there was apparently a stronger emphasis on track sports in Ghana than that of the field category. That was also because most athletes in Ghana were field athletes who felt they did not get a fair chance at showing off their talents.
Plus, there is also the fact, that even though the track was given such a high amount of importance, track athletes especially those in the sprint category had not managed to win any rewards for Ghana through their performance in the international circuit. The only medals that the country has gained in world championship competitions were the silver medal in the long jump category and the bronze medal in the heptathlon category.
In fact, the only gold medal they have won in the famed Olympic Games is in the category of 800 meters race which was again not a track event. Thus, it is more than obvious why the Ghanaian athletes feel disillusioned by the country’s continuous support for people who fail to bring them any triumphs over the ones who are trying their best.
The Government should try to help all aspects of athletics and not just a tiny part of it. Overall development of the sports should be the aim of the Ghanaian Athletics Association no matter what. The exciting thing is that although the events of track and field competitions are like individual games, teamwork is the absolute necessity to have a good performance in front of the world. Without a good team backing you, no one is ever successful.
As a result, it is only in the best interest of Ghana that the government should start looking at all kinds of sports and also promoting all types of games instead of just sprinting. That will ensure better performance in the 2020 Olympics next year.