Track & Field News of 2014-03-05

GAA To begin national championship circuit of four cities

As part of its medium- to long-term goals to promote Athletics in every corner of the country, the Ghana Athletics Association has designed a trailblazing athletic 4-competition circuit beginning on March 29, 2014 in Wa, Upper West Region.

Two other competitions will follow in Takoradi and Ho. Individual athletes will cumulate points from these three competitions, with the 8 highest point scorers in each event being invited for the circuit final, which in 2014 will be in Accra, at El-Wak stadium. The cities will change each year so that by the end of a three-year cycle, each region would have hosted a national-level athletics competition.

Beyond dispersing athletics across the country, this venture will also ensure that home-based athletes get four additional competitions a year. This should be a welcome addition on the athletics calendar, given that one of the most major concerns of athletes in Ghana has been that there are hardly enough competitions for the home-based athletes.

In response to a phenomenon dictated by the presence of synthetic athletic tracks in only four regions of the country—i.e., in the Greater Accra, Western, Northern, and Ashanti regions—the initiative seeks to break the monopoly of hosting national level competitions in just Accra, Takoradi, Tamale, and Kumasi, which has been predicated on the foundations that the youth in all regions of the country deserve to have access to prestigious national caliber competitions and thereby to the benefits of sports.

Also, it promises a further benefit for Ghanaian athletes in that, it would afford home-grown Ghanaian talents the opportunity to hone themselves into competitive shape and even to qualify for international competitions, including the imminent Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The format of the circuit will comprise four competitions in four selected regions of Ghana—two with synthetic tracks and two without synthetic tracks—in which athletes cumulate points with a goal of making into the top eight of ranked athletes in their event. The fourth and culminating competition will be the circuit final, (comprising only straight finals in every event) to which only the top eight athletes in each event will be invited. The final will allow athletes to earn double the points available at the earlier competitions, and the top three in each event will be eligible for prizes.

The events at each circuit competition will be: 100m/400m/1500m/5000m/Long Jump/Discus Throw/Shot Putt – for men; and 200m/800m/3000m/ Triple Jump/High Jump/Javelin Throw – for Women. These events will rotate in the subsequent year.

The National Circuit Championship is scheduled as follows:

29th March, 2014 : Wa Sports Stadium, Upper West Region

19th April, 2014 : Essipong Stadium, Takoradi-Western Region

17th May, 2014 : Ho Sports Stadium, Volta Region

7th June, 2014 (tentative) : El-wak Stadium, Greater Accra Region

As this is purely an individual competition where (individual) athletes earn points that they can translate into prizes, the Ghana Athletics Association is extending its invitation to all athletes in Ghana to participate in the National Championship Circuit.

Interested athletes should contact their respective Regional Sports Authorities for registration and any further information.

SIGNED

Dominic Kankam

Secretary General

+233 273 202 946