Former 100m world record holder, Asafa Powell, has pledged support for a successful African Games (AG) hosting by Ghana in 2023 by way of promotion and marketing.
Speaking in a meeting with the Local Organising Committee(LOC) in Accra on Friday, Powell, who is on a 10-day visit with Ghanaian wife Alyshia Powell, said the African Games was a great platform for athletes and would avail himself to support initiatives that would ensure its success.
Consequently, he has urged the LOC to use the Games to discover and develop new talents from basic and Senior High School (SHS) in Ghana.
He proposed a Jamaican model to the Ghanaian officials, where specialised schools trains athletics coaches and are tasked to produce first class athletes.
“Ghana can benefit immensely from the expertise of these professional athletics coaches by collaborating with Jamaica,” he said.
He said talents abound in Ghana, but the country was yet to reap the benefits as a result of the massive infrastructure deficit.
He urged the LOC and the government to build running tracks in communities, basic schools and SHS to grow and develop the talents from the hinterlands.
The Executive Chairman for the LOC, Dr Kwaku Ofosu Asare, welcomed the decision to appoint Powell as an ambassador for the Games.
He disclosed that the LOC was planning to invite a cultural group from Jamaica to perform at the opening ceremony of the African Games.
The President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah, expressed appreciation to Powell for the willingness to support the LOC to organise and host a memorable African Games.
The 13th African Games, Accra 2023, is scheduled for March 8-23, 2024, and would feature over 5,000 athletes from across the African continent, competing in over 20 sports disciplines with about 12 of them being Olympic qualifiers.
Powell’s visit to Ghana was expected to enhance the profile of the African Games and strengthen the bilateral relationship between Ghana and Jamaica.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE
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