Ghana must embrace mass sports participation from nursery to university, to ensure a healthy citizenry, aimed at cutting down the country’s health bill in the process, says Robert Sarfo Mensah, the director-general of the National Sports Authority.
” … we should try and have mass sports participation from nursery right up to university, …” prescribes the NSA boss, targeting instilling values such as tolerance, fairplay, perseverance and teamwork in the youth for potential greatness in life.
He touts “a healthy life” as an invaluable benefit of sports participation, and recommends to the youth, that ” … if they imbibe these values, it is (sic) good for this country”.
Mensah recalled his high school days during which inter-collegiate high school athletic meets were highly competitive and heavily patronised, evoking the mass euphoria surrounding them.
“We need to bring it back, so that students would see the need to participate, fully.
“That is why it’s also one of my visions to partner the GES (Ghana Education Service) … to ensure that we, eh, bring back, eh, that attitude of, eh, joy and euphoria surrounding sports in the olden days.”
Mensah acknowledges that ” … lack of equipment and facilities is a big challenge … but we need to start from somewhere … we should make-do with what we have. We need to start from somewhere,” reiterates the NSA boss.
Therefore, he prescribes, ” … it is when we make a conscious effort to start, that would, more or less, draw the attention of policy-makers, the providers of resources, to begin to think, because, I believe that, if we push more resources to sports development and mass participation in sports, we’d bring down greatly our health bill …
“Many other countries have done it. The examples abound there, so we need to do that,” concluded Mensah, on the imperatives and benefits of mass participation in sports, of the citizenry.
On the subject of the requirement of playing grounds in all schools, Robert Mensah declares, ” … it’s all about implementation”.
Expanding, the NSA boss says, “As people always say, Ghana, in the books, we have the best of policies, but, for me, any policy which does not have implementation procedures, i.e., eh, logistical support, resources to ensure full implementation of that policy, is not a good policy.
“So, we need to review all these policies, and begin to think about how we can mobilise resources, to ensure that we implement them, fully.
“I think that every (sic) school worth its salt must have some kind of, eh, sporting facility,” concluded Mensah, keen on getting a jump-start on mass sports participation in the country.