The University of Ghana Sports Directorate has signed a Collaborative Agreement with five Units of the University of Ghana to enhance its mandate as a Directorate through the provision of ancillary services needed to accompany sports to reflect the modern complexities and demands of sports.
The Units involved in the collaborative arrangements to enhance and promote sophistication in sports at UG are Department of Physiotherapy, University Health Services, Department of Psychology, Department of Nutrition and Food Science and Careers and Counselling Centre.
The Director of Sports, Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu described the day as historical as the baby steps being taken by the Directorate and stakeholders are yielding desirable fruits. He remarked that the relationship which started with only the Department of Physiotherapy has grown to further include four other Units within the University. Dr. Bitugu asserted that to achieve the overall objective of sports, there ought to be other ancillary services to augment and support the condition and performance of athletes, coaches, and sports organisers of the Sports Directorate. He indicated that some personnel from the Units will train, and travel with UG athletes for competitions when activities return to full scale.
The Director of Sports mentioned that with the University of Ghana becoming the hub for the African Games in 2023, the University will benefit from better infrastructure that meet international standards. This, he said, calls for even more sophisticated administration, management and running of the Sports Directorate for not only winning medals and shields but to empower and do it in the best of our capacities towards holistic training and development of our students.
Dr. Jonathan Quartey, the Head of Department for Physiotherapy and Physiotherapist for the Ghana Black Stars and other national teams was happy that the long-standing relationship with the University of Ghana Sports Directorate has grown to include other Units. He opined that the essence of having auxiliary personnel within modern sports is more important now than ever before because sports has become scientific and when we see other athletes perform at the world stage, it tells us what we are not doing right to move with modern trends.
The Head of Department remarked that it is time for regulatory bodies at the national level to embrace these services for the national teams and make funding available:
“The signing of this agreement should be a springboard to propagate strongly, in the ears of state actors in the sports industry, the need for such services for our national teams because it appears that the National Sports Authority do not understand some of these things and anytime, we present some of these things in our budget it seems a bother or bargain for them.”
Dr. Quartey disclosed that the Department of Physiotherapy will soon roll out a Master of Science programme in sports for physiotherapists in the Department to benefit from the Sports Directorate.
Rev. Professor Joseph Osafo in his submission suggested to the Sports Directorate to catalogue all the success stories such as the Collaborative Agreement and submit to government for it to be replicated at the national level as well. Dr. Gloria Ansa, Head of Public Health – University Health Services added that systems should be in place to leverage on the capacities within the various Units of the University, one that will outlive all staff and ensure members of the university community are strengthened to always give off their best.
Professor Matilda Steiner-Asiedu who represented the Sports Management Committee of the Sports Directorate and the Nutrition and Food Science Department was enthused about the commitment, call to duty and the desire to touch lives through the Collaborative Agreement. She encouraged all stakeholders to continue in this good spirit and the good Lord will surely bless their work and replenish their efforts.
Other members present at the signing ceremony included Rev. Dr. Bridget Ben-Naimah, Director of Careers and Counselling Centre, Dr. Mark E. Frempong, Director of Health Services, Dr. Frederick Vuvor, Head of Nutrition and Food Science Department, Dr. Gifty Nyante, Dr. Collins Badu Agyemang, Dr. Husein Mohammed, Miss Edwina Paintsil, Mrs. Regina Afari Boateng, Assistant Registrar of Sports Directorate and the staff of Sports Directorate.