He said as an athlete whatever you do will be acknowledged therefore it is important for them (athletes) to concentrate on winning laurels rather than money.
The chief gave this advice during the media launch of Ghana’s participation in the upcoming 11th All African Games in Brazzaville, Congo from September 4, 2015 to September 19, 2015.
He urged them to put the nation first then their rewards will follow later. He said past athletes had the spirit of nationalism therefore winning laurels was their main focus.
“Past athletes like Ohene Karikari had their minds on getting a name for the country before chasing money and it is even said that good name is better than riches and also the world is like a stage, when it gets to your turn you play your part and the audience will applaud you,” he said.
Nii Dowouna XI added that the athletes should have it mind that this time around they will bring ‘golds’ and not gold to Ghana saying, ’seek first gold and the money shall be added to you.”
He called on sponsors to come on board to support the project for Ghana to have a good representation and participation at the Games.
“This is the time the sponsors must collaborate with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Sports Authority because football is not the only sport in Ghana,” he said.
He explained that there are lots of youth in the country who are talented in other sporting disciplines and must also be supported.
“Ghana has made her name already in football but it is left with our tennis, hockey, badminton etc so we must not leave it to government alone,” he added.
He urged Ghana’s Chef de Mission for the Games, Mr Saaka Acquaye to have patience which the athletes because without them Ghana cannot be partakers of the event.
He described athletes as women saying, “Our athletes are like women, they are never satisfied and yet when you leave them you will feel cold. So please have patience in handling them.”
On his part, the Director General of the National Sports Authority, Mr Joe Kpenge added that the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the NSA have taken lessons from our previous participation in the Games and have put together serious measure to ensure that Ghana participation in the Game is very successful.
He noted that the Games Planning Committee has been working diligently to deliver the Congo Project adding that various Sub-Committees have been formed to share responsibilities for various actions. Ghana will be participating in about seventeen (17) disciplines and the athletes are in training and preparing for the Games in September