The National Sports Authority (NSA) of Ghana is the main body with the mandate to oversee the organization of sports programmes and events in the country.
They also register and license sporting disciplines as well as manage and lead all international sporting travels involving the national teams.
By the new Sports Act 934, the NSA has been given powers by the Legislature of Ghana to manage promote sports and related issues.
The NSA currently oversees 41 sporting discipline’s associations with the most popular being Football, Athletics, Basketball, Hockey, Tennis, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Rugby, Weightlifting, Golf, Cycling, Handball, Badminton, Boxing, Taekwondo, Judo and Swimming.
There are other sports associations for Chess, Scrabble, Kick Boxing, Canoeing & Rowing, Fencing, Karate Do, Cricket, Squash, Netball, Body Building, Rifle, Baseball/Softball, Beach Sports, Mass Sports, Special Olympics, Disabled, Women in Sports, Security Services, University Sports for tertiary level and the Ghana Education Service (GES) for kids and juvenile sports activities in the Basic and High Schools.
The NSA of Ghana which also has powers in the management the Sports College at Winneba seem not to have what it takes to be convenient and respected.
Most of the personnel are not committed, loyal and dedicated to the mission and vision of the Authority.
Others are not disciplined enough to work in a sports community like the stadium.
Most of the Sports Directors or Sports Organisers are not qualified, because for the past years, they have not proved to be efficient and effective.
The attitude and work rate of the many lazy hands has affected the few hard-working staff who are often marginalized.
The NSA of Ghana which oversees the Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Cape Coast, Essipong, Sunyani, Tema Sports Stadia has caused these sports facilities to deteriorate due to lack of the maintenance spirit, and the “I don’t Care Attitude” because it belongs to government. While some pitches are unkempt, others are in a mess.
So, who is government? Government is me and you, so if it gets spoilt, it affects all of us.
When people call for privatization of the stadia, I want to agree with them because the managers will definitely add the professional touch and patrons or guests will be careful in using the facilities.
If people in Kumasi are calling for a renovation of the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, they have a right because the athletics tracks (oval) can be dangerous, if they are not replaced. Or the authorities want somebody to get injured or die before the track is replaced.
Sadly, Accra Sports Stadium has no athletics tracks but the whole stadium structure is a death trap. Many sports journalists including myself have written on the death trap and we continue.
The Score Board is out of order, the roofs and pillars are rusting and cracking, the washrooms are smelling, with water not running, electricity supply was cut some years back and in fact it looks like no activity is going on at the NSA, yet they exist.
The Cape Coast Stadium is the newest, but the facility which it barely two years is weakening.
Recent reports of court cases involving the NSA which has resulted in seizure and auctioning of some vehicles is not good news, and all these make some of us sports people not to be happy.
As powerful men of the media, we need to put people on their toes to perform positively because we are all part of the government.
The Maputo 2015 All African Games report came out with unpalatable findings and some people were accused of mismanaging some funds, others caused judgement debt to be awarded to a travel and tour agency, all sinking the reputation and image of Ghana Sports.
We need to expose the rot in the society and hail those who deserve, that is why we have instituted some awards ceremonies.
For the current staff of the NSA, most of them do not deserve to work there. They could be directors, secretaries and even presidents of associations.
Sports is life, so people must not joke when serving for sports. Sports can take people to places they never dreamt of, so people must not see sports as mere recreation or child’s play. Sports is a big tool for advertisement and marketing, and on the international scale, it is just massive.
Sports has changes lives of many footballers in Ghana and they have also employed many people.
Sports have changed the lives of many boxers and they are never ashamed of doing sports.
Personalities like Professor Azumah Nelson, Ike Bazooka Quartey, Joshua Grand Master Clottey, Samuel Osei Kuffour, Anthony Yeboah, Ali Ibrahim, Nii Odartey Lamptey, Agyeman Badu, Stephen Tornado Appiah, Asamoah Gyan the Baby Jet, John Paintsil, Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien, Baba Rahman, Andre Ayew and all the top professional footballers have succeeded through sports and their wealth have saved many lives. Even our female footballers are bread winners for their families.
They have contributed to society, their areas of residence, schools (alma maters) and to charity most of the time.
It is the prayer of we, sports lovers that Ghana Sports is organized better. “We deserve better”.
As we welcome new Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah, we pray that things are going to better and the right things done on time.
The President, HE Nana Akufo Addo spoke about time and we hope that Ghanaians would be time conscious and respect time.
So, I can just say it is time for Ghana Sports directors, administrators and managers to woke up.
At 60 years and still going strong, Ghana Sports currently do not reflect the achievements of the past. It seems sports people did well in the past than now that we are in an advanced digital period.
By Sammy Heywood Okine