Friday 6th January, 2023
Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Commonwealth Games Association (CGA)
Mr. Ben Nunoo Mensah
The Grace of God has once again made it possible for me to bring you greetings as we stride through the gates of a new beginning in 2023.
A new year offers all of us that unique opportunity to evaluate, consolidate and, if necessary, start afresh in order to attain our set goals and targets for the next 12 months and beyond.
My mantra for this season is “Thank You and Let’s Do More”
On behalf of the Executive Board, Management, and the astute officers of the GOC/CGA, I wish to thank everybody who, in diverse ways, helped to make our organization better than it was a year ago.
Thus, we seek to yet again make it even better.
As a firm believer in acknowledgment and appreciation of effort, it is prudent to give thanks to all who were instrumental in the successes chalked in our last two major international games.
It is my prayer that we continue to work closer together to ensure that our youth will be able to realize and live their dreams to the fullest.
I cannot thank His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo enough for his consistent personal interest in our athletes. My visits to the Jubilee House were always extremely fruitful whether to seek his blessings ahead of a major international assignment or to present a triumphant athlete.
Sports is undoubtedly a passion that is so dear to our hearts and to ensure that the future remains bright, it is my duty as your servant to help ignite the flames of hope through the power of all-inclusive Sports.
Apart from taking stock of the just-ended year, this new dawn offers us a fresh opportunity as a family to look ahead to the future of sports in Ghana with renewed hope and a determination to bring joy to the people.
The year ended on a good note for Swimming as Miss Farida Iddriss got a seat on the international swimming body FINA (World Aquatics) Bureau for the next three years.
In early December 2022, Farida was nominated and approved at the FINA Extraordinary congress in Melbourne, Australia. Congratulations.
There are already positive signs ahead, following our Annual General Assembly (AGM) which was held on Saturday 17th December 2022 at the SSNIT Emporium in Accra.
We welcomed our new 1st Vice President, the exceptional President of Ghana Table Tennis Mr. Mawuko Afadzinu who stepped into the stead of our departed brother Paul Atchoe; a great administrator and Ambassador of Sports to the very end.
The GOC, Ghana and Africa volleyball, as well as his associates, sporting fraternity, and family, will sorely miss him.
May the soul of Paul Atchoe and the souls of all who departed in 2022 continue to rest in peace.
Our competent Sports Administrators are making inroads and advancing the developmental agenda of their various federations at an admirable pace.
We at the GOC/CGA, could not have seen out the year without the unyielding backing of the Honourable Minister for Youth & Sports Hon Mustapha Ussif, the Director General of the NSA and Members of the Ghana Olympic Committee/ Commonwealth Games Association.
The support from all and sundry must be acknowledged including representatives from the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) and the National Sports Authority (NSA), National Sports Federation Heads, Media, Sponsors and our numerous Partners.
The current administration was elected and sworn into office on 15th March, 2021 and like any normal human institution, we have had our share of ups and downs, but with significant achievements greatly overshadowing the few institutional challenges we have faced.
The most notable being our performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan. And here, I wish to thank the Honorable Mustapha Ussif the hardworking Minister responsible for Sports and the Youth.
It heart warming to note that the Hon Sports Minister ensured that our athletes and delegations got all the necessary support they needed especially at the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He 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.
How can we forget 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.
A big thank you to our sponsors Ashfoam Ghana Limited, Twellium Industries Limited, Toyota Ghana and Cocoa From Ghana.
Ghana’s participation at the Commonwealth Games- Birmingham 2022 was a huge improvement on the last games in Gold Coast, Australia, where Team Ghana won only one bronze medal.
This time around, our boys and girls brought home 5 medals and reached as many as 9 potential medal positions.
These were made up of 2 Silver and 1 Bronze from Boxing, with an additional 2 Bronze medals from Athletics.
We are all so proud of our boxers, Joseph Commey, Abraham Mensah and Wahid Omar just as we are with our Track & Field Stars Deborah Acquah and Joseph Paul Amoah.
Our sincere gratitude must go to our Deputy Minister for Youth & Sports Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie, all coaches and Team Ghana official who contributed to that success story in the United Kingdom.
I must add that the Team Ghana is still awaiting a visit to the Presidency to officially present their medals to H.E. the President.
As far as Marketing & Sponsorship is concerned, thanks to the irrepressible attitude and ingenuity of our team who tirelessly sought for support to aid our various national assignments. God richly bless you all.
There is exciting news with respect to the Amasaman Project.
The GOC, having now acquired full and legal 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 commencement of the project.
The Board has put together a five-member committee chaired by the Deputy Treasurer of the GOC to see to the initial actualization 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, other members, stakeholders and the media will be invited for the grand sod-cutting ceremony.
Through engagements, the GOC/CGA, together with the National Federations and other Stakeholders, are making frantic preparations to put in place structures and that will ensure Ghana’s successful preparation for, and participation in upcoming games:
ANOCA Zone Three Games – Accra, African Youth Games – Congo Brazzaville, African Beach Games – Tunisia, ANOC World Beach Games – Bali, Indonesia, African Games – Accra 2023, Commonwealth Youth Games – Trinidad & Tobago. and Paris 2024 Olympic Games – Paris.
Towards a comprehensive improvement of the various arms of the Ghana Olympic family, Support For National Federations (NF’s) and Athletes continues to receive timely boosts.
Due to some delays in the submission of various reports to the IOC, our request for funding, support, grant and scholarships for our various Athletes and Federations was slightly delayed, but I can confidently report that the GOC has secured the following support and grants for our National Federations and Athletes:
10 National Team Athletes have been awarded IOC Scholarships 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.
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. We will continue to work for more
The second tranche in 2023 will be allocated to Fencing, Athletics and two other Federations who may have activities in 2023 and apply accordingly
The 2023 tranche will go to Basketball, Triathlon and Badminton, while that of 2024 will be given to federations who will apply and have not yet accessed any earlier funding.
The Youth Team of the Ghana Baseball and Softball Federation was also supported by the GOC to secure funds under the YAD-option-3 funding.
The GOC on submission of its various reports to the IOC, has secured approval for the release of funds for key projects and assignments.
I also wish to say thank the Treasurer, the Deputy Treasurer, Chairmen of the Finance and Olympic solidarity sub-committees, and the Administrative Manager for the invaluable inputs to make this possible.
I believe they have forgiven me for the seemingly unbearable pressure I had to put them through…all for the sake of our National Federations and for us all.
It is my prayer that we continue to work closer together to ensure that our youth will be able to realize and live their beautiful dreams.
Last but not the least, Ayekoo to the Media; our very own Communications Team, and the wider valued partners, without whom much of what we do cannot be shared and explained to millions of Ghanaians who do not have first-hand information or access to the workings of the GOC.
My doors are always open especially to construction criticism and matured dialogue.
A new dawn has arrived and the future is even brighter for Ghana youth; bringing renewed hope for all through the Power of Sports.
God bless us all and God bless our motherland Ghana.