As part of their plans and efforts to create an affable relationship with the media, the revamped Communications Team of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) on Friday February 8, 2019 met the press attaches connected to the various federations to access their problems, challenges, duties, contributions and responsibilities.
The meeting which was graced by the presence of the deputy minister of youth & sports, Hon. Perry Okudzeto and Ben Nunoo Mensah, president of the GOC as well as Mr. Herbert Mensah, president of the Ghana Rugby Union and chairman of the Communications Sub Committee of the GOC enabled the press to know about pending events coming up in the year, like the Africa and World Beach Games in Cape Verde and Seychelles respectively plus the 2019 All African Games in Morocco and Olympic Games 2020 qualifiers.
The press were also briefed on accreditation procedure for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the preparations of Ghana to host the 2023 All African Games.
The members of the GOC Communications team were introduced to all present.
The press attaches expressed their problems and challenges which were possible to be addressed with the involvement and support of federation heads.
Some of the solutions lie in periodic capacity building training programmes and choosing the committed and loyal personnel for particular disciplines.
Hon. Perry Okudzeto said sports is big business and the media must support the sports brand with positive reportage to attract sponsors.
Ben Nunoo Mensah called for sanity in the sports sphere as there are over 90% good things happening, but the 10% negative is carried most. He noted that corporate bodies want to associate with positive and vibrant brands.
Herbert Mensah advised sports officials and the media to add the use of technology to enhance their activities.
Also in attendance were Rev. Quarcoo, deputy secretary general of the GOC and Nana Adu Mankata, president of Sports For All Association who is also an executive board member.
Deputy Minister of Youth & Sports, Hon. Perry Okudzeto has called on the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) to send quality athletes than a quantity of no hopes to represent Ghana at future international sports competitions.
Speaking to media men at the GOC boardroom, he said Ghana sports administrators must strategise, be committed, have vision and compete in disciplines that the nation has a relative advantage.
He gave example of boxing and football, where Ghana has won many world titles and the athletes are capable of performing to win medals.
He advised the GOC to guard against sending many athletes to competition only to come back with one or two medals, but rather specialize in events that can earn the nation laurels.
He commended dynamic sports administrators like president of the Ghana Rugby Union, Herbert Mensah who has led the game to develop and now rated as the most popular sport in Ghana after football.
According to the deputy sports minister, Ghana Rugby is flying high the flag of Ghana in the African continental series, and other federations must emulate the Rugby style and strategy.
He promised that government is ready to collaborate and support federations that show progress in their activities, especially as the nation prepares for the 2023 All African Games which calls for the development of more sports facilities.
He noted that sports is business and needs to be branded well and right to attract sponsorship from corporate bodies, so the media have to play their roles efficiently and effectively.
He promised to support the revival of schools sporting activities to groom more athletes from the educational institutions.
Ben Nunoo Mensah, the GOC President took the opportunity of the well attended event to recall some of the achievements of the current administration such as refurbishing the GOC secretariat with new chairs and paintings, creation of a hall of fame, provision of a car and motor bike for administrative purposes and the face lifting of the OlympiAfrica site at Amasaman which the government and other companies must ensure that it is completed at the shortest possible time.
He announced that the GOC has supported government financially at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas, Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, Commonwealth Games in Australia.
He briefed on the upcoming international competitions like the African Beach Games in Cape Verde in June, World Beach Games in Seychelles and the 2019 All African Games in Morocco in August.
The GOC President hinted on the camping base of Team Ghana if they qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
He promised to organize more workshops for the media and sports federations to upgrade their capacity on new trends in Olympism.
On some of the negative reports on sports, he said “we are dis branding our sports, let’s not our company collapse, let’s not kill our sports” he expressed.
He advised the media to be circumspect in applying for accreditation to cover international sports events like the Olympic Games and future Commonwealth Games as the GOC has learnt a lot from the Australia 2018 problems.
Mr. Herbert Mensah, Chairman of the Communications Sub Committee of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) has identified that over the past 10 years Ghana has been developing Olympic athletes on ad hoc basis and it is about time they are supported adequately to be able to groom stars who can win medals.
The former chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko who raised patronage of football in his reign said the Ministry of Youth & Sports must work closely with the GOC in the planning and preparation towards international sports competition.
“It’s time we get together to achieve results with the new direction of the Communications Team” he expressed.
According to Herbert Mensah, the GOC was detached in the past with no much interest and support from government until there is an international event.
“It’s time to have right people and plan ahead, putting Olympic circles in play and plan for 2020 and beyond” he said.
He appealed for governmental support in the terms of understanding, direction or backing, not necessary money to empower federations to work closely and better.
He urged the sports administrators and the media to marry technology with what ever they do in this modern age of social media and hi tech.
He explained that Rugby gets media support due to the committed effort of his reliable staff and dedicated players to get the news across sports and mainstream news channels.
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