Unto us, a sport is born!

Unto us, a sport is born!

• Mr Charles Osei Asibey – GAF President

 A few years ago when arm-wrestling emerged as a new sports disci­pline on an already over-load­ed sports scene, many did not anticipate it will soon be the rock on which Ghana sports would stand.

It was not, as it were, an entirely new sport. It was more or less a traditional sport among both young and old; male and female but extremely popular among the youth.

For them, it was purely a way to prove the stronger of the two.

But how Charles Osei Asibey, the Barrister with no background in law, managed to turn this into a sport that could suddenly turn the fortunes of Ghana over 360 degrees is what many sports federation bosses must learn.

In such an encouraging performance from a 13th African Games hosted by Ghana, it is proper to hail the entire team including those who could not make it to the podium.

Their sparring sessions, contribution in training, encouragement and words of motivation inspired the winners on to win their respective medals. It may therefore sound someway trying to single out a particular discipline for praise.

It can be likened to a popular scripture in the Holy Bible found in 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 (KJV).

It reads: “I (Paul) have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

 So neither did he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.”

From the above, every member of Team Ghana, be it individuals or federations becomes one and must share in the glory.

But as human as we are, surely, some special praise would be heaped on the Golden Arms who breathed life into the campaign. Let’s not forget we are also commanded to give to Caesar what is Caesar.

So from nowhere through the sheer strength and resilience of a female weightlifter, Winnifred Ntumi, Ghana’s first medal seed was planted, registering Ghana on the medal table with a gold and two silver medals.

Just a day after, Abeiku Jackson fetched swimming the first of two medals garnered at the Games and while we waited, the Golden Arms dropped the medal overdose, registering 41 medals comprising eight gold, 19 silver and 14 bronze.

That was unprecedented and cannot pass without a special mention.

Until this feat, Ghana’s highest medal haul was pegged at 27, a feat attained during the 1973 edition of the Games held in Nigeria.

Even if Ghana were to set a new medal record in the Games, arm-wrestling was surely not one of the disciplines uninitiated fans would expect our achievement to come from.

But from the inception of the sport as one of the ‘children’ of the National Sports Authority (NSA), arm-wrestling has maintained some level of consistency, sweeping medals for fun at international meets; they have been very dominant.

Without mincing words, ‘Barrister’ Osei Asibey has done a yeoman’s job worth emulating by all although the dynamics differs as far as the respective disciplines are concerned.

But the Ghana Armwrestling Federation (GAF) must guard against complacency. They must not rest on their oars because it will mark the beginning of a fierce ‘war’ with other competitors.

Like the popular saying, behind every successful man, there is a woman but in the case of the ‘Barrister’, he has been lucky to have a strong and buoyant board to indeed make arm-wrestling a sport of choice.

The Executive Board of GAF includes Pahrm. Kofi Addo Agyekum (Vice President), Mr Jesse Agyepong (General Secretary), Mr Godfrey William Amarteifio (Finance & Administration), Mr Edwin Amankwah (Operations), Mr Jonathan Lambert Nii Okai Awuletey (Marketing & Communication), Mr Husseini Akueteh Addy (Technical Director), Dr. Marc Dzradosi (Medical), DCOP Lydia Donkor (Director, Corporate Affairs), Mr Robert Appiah Ameyaw, Mr Norbert Kwankye (Members).

These men and women have provided a solid foundation on which arm-wrestling has been established and as they keep working hard to remain at the top, the whole world would consider Ghana a force as the arm-wrestling agenda is pushed to the Olympics.

 By Andrew Nortey

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