Madam Gertrude Inkoom, former Captain of the national female hockey team, Black Sticks Ladies, has called on the national teams not to give up their dreams, despite the government’s failure to pay their winning bonuses.
The Black Sticks would be representing Ghana from Monday, January 17, in the Hockey Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra in a bid to qualify for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Cup later this year and next year.
The 2016 best female player in the FIH World League, who has retired from the national team but currently plays for Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Ladies Hockey team, Royal Ladies, said, it was disheartening that players winning bonuses had not been paid.
In an interview with GNA Sports, she encouraged the players to use this year’s tournament to make a name for themselves and also make their voices heard.
“The players should use this tournament to prove a point to let the authorities know that hockey players deserve attention, is long overdue you see less attention been given to hockey or lesser-known sports, is a challenge for every sportsman especially if you are in the lesser-known sports because attention is not given”, she said.
She explained that, since she started playing hockey in 2005 with the National team, there had not been any single time that the team goes to a tournament and would not bring a medal yet attention was not given.
She added that these were some of the things that discouraged players, “because you go to a tournament you do so well yet nothing is given”.
Madam Inkoom noted that hosting tournaments in a particular country was not always easy for players because the expectations were high.
“This year is not the first time Ghana is hosting a Hockey tournament and is not the first time the team is representing the country. Definitely, hockey lovers would be expecting nothing other than to win, expectations from those in the hockey fraternity, and pressure from hockey fans.
Ghana plays Uganda and Nigeria in their opening matches on Monday.