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The painful success of Ghana Beach Soccer

Sun, 22 Feb 2015 Source: Ghana Beach Soccer (GBS)

Since 2011, CAL Bank has been supporting beach soccer with a sponsorship package of Gh44,000 cedis a year for the domestic Championship League (consisting of 10 teams) and $20,000 a year for the national team, starting 2015.

It is fair to say that the rapid growth and relative success of Ghana beach soccer, has not been down to the conservative amount of money the association receives from corporate Ghana. lt is a miracle that the team has twice managed to travel outside to compete against far better supported and resourced countries.

ln 2014, the Ghana Black Sharks were adjudged the most improved team in African Beach Soccer and moved from 31st to 7th position over a period of 12 months.

By all means CAL Bank must be commended for their modest investment in beach soccer so far. Same applies to VOLTIC MINERAL WATER for providing water (for the 20 teams in both Championship & Division 1 leagues) and the provision of some basic team logistics for teams since the introduction of the sport in the country in 2007 and the commencement of the leagues in 2011.

So if a sport like beach soccer, with such massive potential to explode along Ghana's sprawling coastal belt is surviving on minimum support from corporate Ghana, the big question that always pops up is this; WHY has the Ghana Football Association, Ministry of Youth and Sports and National Sports Authority folded its arms with the "no money" syndrome attitude?

lt would be naive to make a direct comparison between beach soccer and association football. The simple reason being that whilst one is now developing, the other is well established as a national sport. However, the huge gulf in investment and prudent apportioning of financial, technical, logistics and infrastructural support brings to the fore once again.

What is the vision and direction of Ghana's sports development policy? After the last great "dinosaur" Sports Minister Hon E.T Mensah left office, minister after sports minister came, saw but never conquered the temptations of the powerful and almost intoxicating rewards that national teams football brings to the table.

With a new, relatively younger Chief of Staff who is well noted for spreading his wings and stepping onto new territories, perhaps the time has come for a more focused and intensive approach to national sports development directly from the seat of power. Just thinking aloud!

Source: Ghana Beach Soccer (GBS)