The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia Thursday presented medals and trophies to winners of the 2022 National Cross- Country Competition organised by the National Sports Authority (NSA).
This year’s national marathon was held at Akyem Oda in the Eastern Region as part of the country’s 65th Independence Anniversary celebrations.
About 200 athletes selected nationwide took part in the 10-kilometre race.
Vice President Bawumia presented the medals, trophies and cash prizes to the athletes who excelled at the competition during a ceremony held at the Jubilee House, the seat of government, in Accra.
Dr. Bawumia said: “it is very important that as a country we pay attention to sports, invest in sports and also nurture sports men and women, so that we can have the benefits for the country”.
The athletes were accompanied by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Mustapha Usif, the Director-General of the NSA, Professor Peter Twumasi, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 2023 African Games, Dr. Kweku Ofosu Asare and other officials from the NSA as well as regional sports directorates.
The Vice President noted that the cross-country race was an event that had been abandoned over the past 10 years and expressed the need for the nation to nurture sports to play a major role in the country’s development.
Touching on job opportunities in the sports industry, the Vice President said the sports sector over the years, had created massive incomes for many Ghanaians.
He said the benefits of sports towards national development had been underestimated while governments had not paid much attention to sports development.
The Vice-President lauded the athletes who took part in the competition for their efforts and urged them to work harder in order to win medals for the country in the 2023 African Games.
Vice-President Bawumia indicated that the decision to host the medal presentation ceremony showed the seriousness government attached to sports development.
He said the decision was to motivate the athletes and assured of government’s support in investing in sports development.
Mr Seth Panwum, the Board Chairperson of the NSA, for his part, stated that bringing the athletes to the Presidency for the medal presentation was historic in the cross-country race and a clear demonstration of government’s determination to invest in sports development.
“Over the period the government has shown commitment to football, both men and women, the Sports Writers Association of Ghana SWAG) and demonstrated same by agreeing to present medals and award to these athletes today,” Mr Panwum said.
Mr. Panwum also assured of a sustainable cross country event and appealed to corporate entities to join hand with the NSA and other stakeholders to support sports to an enviable levels.