Richard Akpokavie- Former President of GHA
A former Ghana Hockey Association (GHA) president and one time captain of the national team, Mr Richard Akpokavie, has called on corporate bodies and philanthropists to support the association to unearth and develop talented youth to become the next stars of the sport and also raise the standard of hockey in the country.
He said a lot of talents abounded in the country but inadequate financial support for the sport’s governing body had made it difficult to implement some of their developmental plans, but it was confident that funding from corporate partners and individuals would strengthen their capacity to unearth and develop talents, and eventually ensure the accelerated growth of hockey.
“Sponsors should consider the positive sides of sports by collaborating with the Ghana Hockey Association and make hockey very attractive to the youth who have so much talent but need the right environment, structures and platform to develop their talents.
“Through corporate partnership and funding, hockey will become very attractive and the interest of the young ones will be diverted from drugs and other negative practices into sports which is an effective tool to build a better society,” Mr Akpokavie told the Daily Graphic.
Mr Akpokavie, who is the General Secretary of the Ghana Olympic Committee, said the GHA had good plans on paper but did not have the financial power to develop the sport, hence his clarion call for partnership from the private sector to tap into the rich human resource that abounded in the Ghanaian youth in particular.
“With adequate sponsorship, we will be in the position of procuring equipment, including hockey sticks, shin guards, goalkeepers’ gears, build the capacity of coaches and also organise regular competitions to grow Ghana hockey significantly.
“We need to deliberately help to develop talents likely to become role models to their peers and future generation, and the benefits of such action would be great for sponsoring brands.