Sports News of Sat, 12 Aug 201714

Ghana athletics is dying - Lutterodt

Former Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) chief, George Haldane-Lutterodt, says he fears for the future of athletics after a fourth unsuccessful attempt by the nation’s athletes to qualify to the final of any athletics event at the ongoing World Athletics Championships.

Mr Lutterodt has, therefore called for a Presidential intervention to save the sport from total collapse after another poor show at the ongoing World Athletics Championships in London.

Commenting on the disappointing display from Ghana’s athletes at the Championships, the former GAA chief questioned the rationale for doling out $84,900 to the team for the Championships when it could be used to develop the grassroots and grow home -based athletes.

“We cannot as a nation solely rely on athletes in foreign countries and refuse to nurture and grow home- based athletes”, he stated.

He lamented the forceful retirement of athletes such as Aziz Zakari, Margaret Simpson and Vida Anim by the current leadership of the GAA, saying that was a blight in seeking mentorship for the the nation’s current young athletes.

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“Justin Gatlin is 35 years, but he is still competing and we have retired the likes of Aziz Zakari, Vida Anim and Margaret Simpson, who could still rub shoulders with these current athletes,” he noted.

Mr Lutterodt preferred the sport to go back to the basic schools up to the tertiary level reorganisation of the inter-schools athletics competitions nationwide.

“We can only develop sports through grooming and nurturing home-based talents and providing basic support for them”, he stated.

He objected to the idea of sending athletes to the United States and other countries in the name of training and stated that all must be done at home as much as possible.

Mr Lutterodt described Ghana’s recent performances in athletics in any major international events as a disaster which keeps occurring, and called for an urgent dispassionate intervention to solve the problem.

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