Takyi goofed but… (Final part)

Takyi goofed but… (Final part)

Samuel Takyi

The MoYS statement categorised the $50,000 as follows – $10,000 as reward for the bronze medal, $20,000 to procure a vehicle for the boxer and the rest of the $20,000 to be invested in his career – specifically to fund his training, equip­ment and other requirement to enable him reach his full potential as a boxer.

The statement said the fund was not meant to be disbursed directly to Mr Takyi, but rather to be invested strategically in his development.

Gladly, government ful­filled its promise by pre­senting $10,000 to Takyi on November 18, 2021; present­ed a car on the same day and followed up with an amount of $5,000 on December 16, 2022.

This implies that out of the $20,000.00 meant for his personal develop­ment, a balance of $10,000 is now payable to him when he presents a good personal plan.

Clearly, all the back-and-forth between MoYS and the boxer could have been avoid­ed if there was a clear-cut reward structure by govern­ment or the MoYS athletes.

Considering this is not the first time controversies over athletes’ rewards have come up, and this may not be the last; so the earlier something was done about it to avert future occurrences, the bet­ter it will be for all.

As far back as August 2014, there was a similar occurrence after Abdul Wa­hib Omar won bronze despite losing his semi-final bout to Louis Colin in flyweight at the Commonwealth Games.

Omar, then 22 years, was to receive $1,000 as a reward for winning one of the two medals Ghana won at the Glasgow Games. The other winner was Ju­doka Razak Abugri.

Many years after that, the reward re­mained unfulfilled.

“I have given up on the chase for that money. I have been made to go up and down several times. When I go there, they tell me the minister is not in.” This was the response the last time we discussed that issue.

Such is the frustration athletes go through after the long period of hard work to compete at the highest level to put Ghana’s flag on the international map as a sports nation.

This, I believe, has be­come an issue because of the absence of a structured re­ward scheme to guide author­ities in awarding athletes.

Secondly, by our way of administering boxing, espe­cially at the amateur level, demanding a developmental plan from a boxer before re­ceiving his reward is like ask­ing a man to walk on water.

Fact is, most of these boxers are usually on their own; they do everything for themselves. A few lucky ones among them enjoy the benev­olence of their coaches who support their training and a little stipends to survive.

It is when they begin to show signs of promise that they begin to attract managers, some of whom come with var­ied interest.

So, imag­ine a boxer in need of money but without the ability to produce a development plan; he falls prey to whoever he approach­es for help.

Maybe, what the author­ities fail to realise is that a development plan is no guarantee for the success of a boxer and the earlier their real needs and problems were identified with ways found to address them, the better it will be for all the parties.

Most of these boxers lack decent places of abode. Most of them do not work so it even beats imagination why the choice to always think about cars if such athletes were to be rewarded.

The choice of a car would only change the boxer’s life­style and use a chunk of the cash reward on fuel. With no work to earn additional funds or income, every expenditure of the boxer would be from it and in no time, they would go broke.

Assuming a boxer uses part of the initial instalment to hire a simple but decent accommodation, after some­time, he would have to renew his tenancy agreement and in no time, could go cashless.

I have a simple advice for MoYS or government regarding a reward scheme for boxers or maybe all other athletes.

Preference may differ but with boxers whose conditions of living is nothing impres­sive to write home about, a $50,000 package coming in various forms could be used to procure a decent accom­modation for the boxer or whichever athlete is involved; of course consideration must be given to whether he/she has one already or not.

This is an issue that must be given a serious attention while Takyi pre­pares a devel­opment plan to get the rest of the money released to him

By Andrew Nortey

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