Ghana as a nation has made significant gains in the world of athletics over the years with several athletes contributing to the success story.
After ascending the thrown as Ghana Athletics Association boss several years ago, Professor Francis Dodoo decided to make youth development his number one priority.
Such a laudable idea was welcomed by athletics lovers who believed that the sport which was on a downward trend, will be revived again.
Between 2013 and 2015, the Ghana Athletics Association has helped in securing scholarships for over 20 young athletes and still counting from the initiative by the Prof. Francis Dodoo led GAA administration.
I have been asking myself several questions because with all these talents the Ghana athletics Association claim are on scholarships, what have been the significant benefits the nation has derived or gotten from these athletes over the period at major international competitions?
I feel that there is no watch keeper because after securing these scholarship’s for the athletes, there is no constant checks on them especially when the nation needs them at the crucial moment.
I can recall vividly the shambolic performance team Ghana put up at the 2016 Rio Olympics in athletics and the same excused Ghanaians were given was just simple, we are building a winning team for Tokyo 2020.Tokyo will come and go, and they will be telling us the same story.
This has been the tag line of the GAA since the Professor Francis Dodoo led administration took office and started to embark on a rebuilding exercise in 2011.
In Rio, it was evidently clear that most of our athletes who competed in the track and field events were rusty .My checks revealed some of them had not competed at the highest level for months prior to the games.
The Ghana Athletics Association should think of the nation first before their personal interest .I say this because those who were blazing the trail even before Professor Francis Dodoo came in as the GAA president, what sort of treatment was meted out to them?
How did they exit the scene? One would have taught that youthful exuberance and experience could have been blended well for even the younger ones to learn more from these so called older generation.
The likes of Vida Anim, Ignatius Gaisah, Margaret Simpson and the list goes on and on, all left the scene with some bitterness in them because of the ill treatment the Professor Francis Dodoo led GAA gave them.
Aziz Zakari, Ignatius Giasah, Vida Anim, Margaret Simpson and several other household names one way or the other had issues with the Ghana Athletics Association and stopped competing for the once revered nation which was noted for producing great athletes.
“GAA continues to defy its critics while blazing a new path”
That’s how the Ghana Athletics Association captured Martha Bissah’s gold winning feat in China in 2014 on their website.
It is evidently clear from this caption that the Association was in some kind of a battle with some people. But be it as it may, those in charge were given the nod by well – meaning Ghanaians to help shape athletics for the better.
The little girl who did the nation proud is now in the bad books of the Association for the reasons best known to them.
I would not want to go into how the young athlete was suspended indefinitely but it’s clear that the Ghana athletics Association failed to handle this little girl’s issue very well.
The girl might currently not be thinking of Ghana for now, but one thing is clear which is some individuals with the GAA were against the success story of this same girl they bragged about her gold winning feat years ago.
My only advice to these so called individuals who have taking entrenched position to serve their selfish interest to the detriment of the nation regarding the suspension of this girl is that, there is an end to everything under the sun.
For a spokesperson of the Athletics Association to be on record to have said that “Currently, there is no consideration to lift the indefinite suspension. And the GAA will not stand in the way of any athlete who wishes to switch nationalities as that is one’s personal decision ” as quoted by Graphic Sport is an apology of a statement.
A declaration which defies the Deputy youth and Sports ministers attempt to solve the impasse between the GAA and the young female athlete then clearly it’s a well calculated attempt to end her career abruptly.
These people in charge of athletics should rather look at the larger picture and not on how to pick bones with any individual.
A discerning reader will even deduce that if the Ghana Athletics Association claim they have nothing to do with the little girl, after suspending her, how is it their business to track her even after failing to secure for her a scholarship which was on the orders of former President John Dramani Mahama?
One will just conclude that its pure hatred towards the little innocent girl.
Several young and budding athletes might have also suffered from this unacceptable and devilish behavior of some people within the Ghana athletics Association over the period.
But as the saying goes, nothing stays up forever because certainly one day all will come to an end.
But the unfortunate thing is massive harm might have been done to innocent young talents in athletics in the country.
“A word to the wise is enough“
God bless our homeland Ghana .