Paralympic Team surprised by
Ministry’s refusal of sponsorship
Accra, Aug. 29, Ghanadot/GNA – The
Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (Sports Wing) has
expressed surprise about the refusal of the Ministry of
Education, Science and Sports to sponsor the Ghana
Paralympics Team to compete in the Paralympic Games in
It said it came to its notice per a publication in a
national Daily that it was impossible for the Ministry to
provide 90,000 dollars that it requires for the travel
arrangements of a team of four athletes whom it claimed were
not qualified for the Games.
Mr Abdul-Aziz Mohammed, Chairman of the GDSP Sports in a
press briefing to react to the stand of the Ministry in
Accra on Friday noted that it was wrong for the Ministry to
have based its decision on the advice offered by its
Director of Sports, Dr Emmanuel Owusu Ansah.
The Beijing Paralympics Games would be held from 6th to 17th
He said that the two athletes, Botsyo Nkegbe and Ajara
Mohammed are not only participating for its sake but have a
greater chance of winning medals.
The Chairman said Nkegbe presently holds the best time in
Africa in 100 and 200 metres races and is among the ten best
disabled athletes in the world after a three months training
in the US while Ajara is a 1500 metre African champion and a
gold medal winner in the last All Africa Games in Algeria
and has improved on her time.
Mr Mohammed urged the Ministry to rescind its decision of
refusing to sponsor the Paralympics Team to compete in the
Beijing games and made a passionate appeal to all Ghanaians
and corporate bodies to donate generously to enable the team
purchase their tickets and for their allowances for two of
the athletes, a coach, a medical officer and an official to
make the trip soonest.
He said if the Ministry thinks it is expensive to fund the
trip of the team, it should either cut down on the number of
officials or seek for further financial support to enable
the Team Ghana make its appearance at the Games.
Mr Mohammed said it is not true that competing on wild card
does not qualify an athlete for a medal as said by the
Ministry and that taking part on wild card would be a
non-scoring event at the Games.
“Wild card is given to, especially, countries that have
difficulty taking part in at least two world championships
sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee, (IPC)
but meet the minimum requirements and have a potential to
make a difference in the Games”.
“It is a special intervention by the IPC to help developing
countries and it does not indicate that one is participating
on a non-scoring basis. Every athlete competing in the Games
has equal chance of winning medals like others, except that
wild card holders are offered limited events”.
Mr Mohammed explained that Ghana was offered the wild card
because its leaders failed to put in place the necessary
measures that would enable her qualify and also failed to
pay Ghana’s membership dues of the IPC on time and to
present any athlete at any of the IPC sanctioned world
“The fact that Ghana is a wild card country has no bearing
on their inability to win a medal contrary to what is being
portrayed to the Ghanaian public but it is because the IPC
recognizes the importance of Ghana’s presence in the Beijing
The Chairman explained that the Society started organizing
disability sports with the help of other partners, Johny and
Friends Organisation, Jean Driscoll’s ‘Determined to Win
Inc.’ from the United States of America, Danish Sports
Organisation for the Disabled and USAID-Ghana who have
continued to support the athletes with training and
equipment including the current Ghana Paralympics Team.
Mr Mohammed said since the formation of the Association of
Sports for the Disabled and the National Paralympics
Committee, the Society decided to concentrate on grassroots
sports development for the physically disabled with
coordination from the National Sports Council.
Nkegbe explained that they are capable of winning medals for
the country even with their wild card status since they have
adequately prepared for their events and are better placed
to bring laurels to the country at the Paralympics Games.