Ben Nunoo Mensah
Ben Nunoo Mensah

REPORT BY PRESIDENT OF THE GHANA OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (GOC)/COMMONWEALTH GAMES ASSOCIATION (CGA) MR BEN NUNOO MENSAH AT THE ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY (AGM) ON SATURDAY 17TH DECEMBER, 2022 AT THE TRUST EMPORIUM

Honourable Minister for Youth & Sports

Director General, National Sports Authority

Members of the Ghana Olympic Committee/ Commonwealth Games Association

Representatives from the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) and the National Sports Authority (NSA)

National Federation Heads and Representatives

Members of the media

Delegates

Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is quite refreshing for us to once again meet as a family and discuss issues on the future of our Sports, a passion that is so dear to our hearts.

This AGM should have been held on or around the month of March 2022, but due to our focus on, the preparation for and participation in the last Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, it had to be postponed to today.

The current administration was elected and sworn into office on 15th March, 2021 and like any normal human institution have had its ups and downs, but with our significant achievements greatly overshadowing the few institutional challenges we have faced.

MEETING WITH H.E THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

Due to the then Covid restrictions, a cross-section of the newly elected Board of the GOC/CGA paid a courtesy call on His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House on 5th May, 2021. The purpose of the meeting was to

i. Congratulate H.E on his reelection for a further period of 4 years.

ii. Introduce the new GOC/CGA board to His Excellency.

iii. Grant H.E the opportunity to share with us his vision and direction for Ghana Sports, so that they can be factored in the GOC/CGA’s development and strategic plans for the next 4 years.

The board also raised a few issues such as

a. Employment and or secured source of earning for our national team athletes

b. Increase in the budgetary allocation to the MOYS.

c. The adoption of our various national teams by some Parastatals like GNPC, BOST,

 GCB, GOIL, Ghana Gas etc.

d. The organization of an annual or biennial Sports competition between all State

 agencies to encourage the employment of our national team athletes by these State

 agencies and

e. The naming of the current building housing the offices of the GOC /CGA as

 “OLYMPIC HOUSE” as agreed with the then Minister for Works & Housing in 2010.

His Excellency on his part congratulated the board and said that there is a need to make a conscious effort to encourage more women into sports management, he also directed the MOYS to ensure that tax reliefs to and recognition given to companies who invest in Sports is done at the highest level of government.

He charged the Minister to as early as possible come up with modalities for the institutionalization of a biennial Inter-state Agencies Sports competition, and requested that the current YEA support to our national team athletes is expanded and its impact felt by all.

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The President also requested the Minister of Sports to work with the Ministry of Works & Housing on the issue of naming of the current building housing the GOC offices

TOKYO 2020 OLYMPIC GAMES

Ghana’s performance at the Tokyo 2020 Games has been judged as one of the best in recent memories.

Team Ghana chalked so many first at the games

i. For the first time in 29 years, Ghana won a medal at the Olympics, our last medal was in 1992 when the Black Meteors won bronze t the Barcelona games.

ii. For the first time in 49 years, Ghana won a medal in Boxing, the last medal was won my Prince Amartey at the 1972 games.

iii. For the first time in 25 years, our 4×100 Relay Team qualified to the finals at the Olympics.

iv. 4 national records were broken at the games, Joe Paul Amoah in the 200 meters, the Quartet Team in the Semi finals, Abeiku Jackson in Swimming and Christian Amoah in Weightlifting.

v. For the first time ever in Ghana’s history at the games, a Ghanaian Athlete, Samuel Takyi (who won Ghana’s sole bronze medal and Africa’s only medal in boxing) was selected to represent the whole of Africa at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games and stood by the IOC President Thomas Bach as he gave his speech to close the games.

vi. 206 countries participated at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Ghana placed 86th on the medal table.

vii. 52 African Countries were at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Ghana placed 10th alongside Botswana, Burkina Faso and Cote D’ivoire.

viii. Amongst the African medal winning countries, Ghana presented the least number of athletes and officials.

Our sincere gratitude goes to H.E President Nana Akufo-Addo who met the team before they left for their pre-games in Inawashiro and also on the team’s return from the Games.

We also thank the Honourable Minister for Youth & Sports, M.P. Mustafa Ussif who ensured that the team got all the necessary support and also accompanied the team to Tokyo and was always on hand to motivate the athletes when needed.

Our heartfelt gratitude also goes to H.E Frank Okyere, Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan for arranging our pre-games camping and ensuring that the team at every step of the way had a father in him.

We also say a big Thank you to the Mayor and people of Inawashiro for their wonderful support during our stay in Inawashiro and during the games.

We also thank our sponsors Ashfoam Ghana Limited, Twellium Industries Limited, Toyota Ghana and Cocoa from Ghana.

Our special thanks also goes to the Management and Staff of the Trust Emporium, Mr & Mrs Theo Tagoe of Royal Dede Hotel and our own Mr Tagoe of “Tagoe Kitchen” at the Accra Sports stadium.

BEIJING WINTER GAMES

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Ghana qualified and was represented by Alpine Skier Carlos Merder at the Beijing Winter Games. The GOC and our sponsors footed the cost of Ghana’s participation and representation at the games.

BIRMINGHAM 2022 COMMONWEALTH GAMES

Ghana’s participation at the Birmingham Games, was a huge improvement on the last games in Gold Coast, Australia where Team Ghana won only one bronze medal. This time around Team Ghana won 5 medals made up of 1 Silver and 2 Bronze from Boxing and 2 Bronze medals also from Athletics.

We are all so proud of our Boxers, Richard Commey, Abraham Mensah and Wahid Omar and also our Track & Field Stars Deborah Acquah and Joseph Paul Amoah.

Our sincere gratitude also goes to our Deputy Minister for Youth & Sports Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie and all those who contributed to that success story.

I must add that the Team is still awaiting a visit to the Presidency to present their medals to H.E The President.

MARKETING & SPONSORSHIP

Through the ingenuity of our marketing subcommittee, the GOC/CGA was able to get some of our key sponsors to fund some major part of our budget to the various international games. One of our sponsors, Mobility Technologies Limited also donated 2 motor bikes to the GOC/CGA to help in the running of the office.

QUEEN BATON RELAY

As a precursor to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the game’s Torch arrived in Ghana on the 24th October, 2021 and was received by His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House on 25th October, 2021.

The torch made rounds in Ghana, visiting several important landmarks and places in Accra, Tema and Kumasi where it was received by HRH Nana Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Manhyia Palace.

The baton finally left Accra on the morning of 27th October, 2021 enroute to Yaoundé – Cameroon.

OLYMPAFRICA PROJECT (AMASAMAN)

The GOC having now acquired full and proper ownership of the 16.5 acre land at Amasaman, the IOC, ANOCA and the OlympAfrica Foundation at the beginning of November 2022 showed their commitment to restart and get the project going by sending an amount of $100,000.00 to the GOC account for the start of the project.

The Board has put together a five member committee chaired by the Deputy Treasurer of the GOC to see to the commencement and progress of the entire Stadium Project.

The facility has been christened “GOC/OlympAfrica Centre for Juvenile Sports Excellence” and in the next few days, members will be invited for the grand sod-cutting ceremony.

VARIOUS INTERNATIONAL GAMES

The GOC/CGA together with the National Federation and other Stakeholders are making frantic preparation and putting in place structures and engagements that will ensure Ghana’s successful preparation for and participation at the following upcoming games

i. ANOC Zone Three Games – Accra

ii. African Youth Games – Congo Brazzaville

iii. African Beach Games – Tunisia

iv. ANOC World Beach Games – Bali, Indonesia

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v. African Games – Accra 2023

vi. Commonwealth Youth Games – Trinidad & Tobago

vii. Paris 2024 Olympic Games – Paris

SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL FEDERATION (NF) AND ATHLETES

Due to some delays in the submission of various reports to the IOC, our request for funding, support, grant and scholarship for our various Athletes and Federations got delayed a bit, but colleagues I can confidently report that as at today, the GOC has secured the following support and grants for our NFs and Athletes.

i. 10 National Team Athletes have been awarded IOC Scholarship which will see each of them receiving an amount of $750.00 every month from January 2023 to the end of the Olympic Games in Paris. Steps are also far advanced to secure ANOCA Scholarship for additional 5 athletes from Ghana.

ii. A continental Athlete Support grant of $100,000.00 spread over 2022, 2023 and 2024 has also been approved for Ghana and the first tranche of $40,000.00 for 2022 has been allocated to Judo, Swimming, Golf, Weightlifting and Handball. The second tranche in 2023 will be allocated to Fencing, Athletics and 2 other federations who may have activities in 2023 and applies accordingly.

iii. We also got approval for $25,000.00 each year until 2024 under the Youth Athlete Development grant and the 2022 funding has been allocated to Table Tennis, Karate-Do and Tennis. The 2023 tranche will go to Basketball, Triathlon and Badminton and 2024 will be given to federations who will apply and has not accessed any earlier funding.

iv. The Youth Team of the Ghana Baseball and Softball Federation was also supported by the GOC to secure an amount of $ 7,672.00 under the YAD-option-3 funding.

v. The GOC on submission of its various reports to the IOC has gotten approval for the release of an amount of $180,000.00 for the period 2022-2024 under the NOC Management & Knowledge Sharing what we popularly call Administrative subsidy. The breakdown is as follows

2022 – $ 90,000.00

2023 – $ 45,000.00

2024 – $ 45,000.00

I wish to say a very big thank you to the Treasurer, the Deputy Treasurer, Chairmen of the Finance and Olympic solidarity subcommittees and also the Admin Manager for the intensive input to make this possible and also say sorry for the unbearable pressure I had to put them through. It was for the good of our National Federations and for all of us.

CONCLUSION

On behalf of the Executive Board, Management and Officers of the GOC/CGA, I wish to thank everybody here especially those who in diverse ways helped to make our organization better than it was a year ago and were very instrumental in the huge successes we have chalked in our last 2 major international games. Let us continue to work harder together to ensure that our youth will be able to live their dream and make a future for themselves through Sports.

God bless us all and God bless our motherland Ghana.

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