Mr Stephen Asante Bekoe, President of the Rowing and Canoeing Federation of Ghana, has bemoaned, the low attention to boat racing in the country and called for Government’s assistance towards it promotion.
He said, the promotion of the sport would make the youth active in the fishing industry, boost their enthusiasm and create a platform for talents to be unearthed for the nation.
Mr Bekoe said this in an interview with the GNA Sports, in the Eastern Region, during this year’s canoe racing, known as “Regatta” to round off the 62nd independence anniversary celebration.
He said, his outfit with the help of the Royal Senchi Hotel, had put in a lot of investments to hold aloft the sports, but much would still be needed to promote the sport.
The canoe racing, which was organize by the hotel in collaboration with the federation, was launched three years ago, as a social activity specifically for the March 6 holidays, as well as a window for discovery of athletes for the sports.
The event, was also graced by Nana Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, Paramount Chief of the Akwamu Traditional Area, Nana Kwame Yeboah Afari and Mr Pius Enam Hadzide, Deputy Minister of Information.
Teams along the coastal belt who participated in the competition, were from the Greater Accra, Central, Volta, and Eastern Regions and competed in a 200 to 500 metres canoe and kayak races, as well as a marathon, which started from the Adomi Bridge to the Hotel’s end of the lake.
Mr Emmanuel Mensah, Head of the Sales and Marketing of the hotel, told the GNA Sports that, athletes from the contest would be selected to represent Ghana at the African Beach Games in Cape Verde in June, this year and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
He said the event was initiated to breathe new life into the sport, which he described had been neglected in recent years and called for more support for the water sports.
Mr. Hadzide said the sports was symbolic of the way of life of the people in Ghana’s coastal region, who fought for our independence struggle and expressed his elation at the performance of the athletes and urged them to replicate the gust at the international level.
“Water sports have become valuable across the world and outstanding athletes would be selected to represent Ghana at the international competitions,’’ he said.
Nana Kwafo Akoto commended the organisers of the event and called for a regular competition to adequately prepare athletes for the future.