Mr. Emmanuel Tuffour – a retired Ghanaian sprinter known in athletics as “Koraa”, has said athletics is on the decline in the country and called on the swift intervention of government to reclaim its glory.
Mr. Tuffour was once Ghana’s top sprinter and placed seventh at the 1993 World Championships. He is the current national record holder in 4 x 100 m relay with 38,12 seconds.
Speaking to the GNA Sports after the annual football and athletics championship dubbed “Sakora Games” Mr. Tuffour said there was the need for government to invest in the sport especially with facilities, unearthing and developing athletes as the nation prepares for the hosting of the 2023 African Games.
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had promised to revive football and athletics and that he (Tuffour) was in the country to support that agenda, to ensure Ghana dominates in the 2023 All Africa Games to be hosted by Ghana.
“We want our local athletes to be trained and sponsored with the needed exposure as part of preparations towards the 2023 Games. That would be the only way to rub shoulders with to countries during the Games,” Mr.Tuffour said.
He advised young and upcoming athletes not to be discouraged by the pitches they train on but strive to realise their dreams.
“I started like you running on sandy surface like this, but with determination to wear the national colors, I was able to make it.
“No matter where you started from, where you trained you can still make it,” he said.
Mr. Samuel Ashley, an athletic coach of Future Sport Club in Accra called for the reintroduction of the Under-15 yearly athletic games for the systematic grooming of athletes from the primary and the Senior High Schools.
“The inter-school athletics competition has gone down and everything is been focused on football. We need government support to encourage children into athletics at the lower education level,” he said.