University of Ghana (UG) will participate in the maiden African Universities Olympic Games in Cairo, Egypt from Tuesday, 12th to Tuesday, 19th March, 2019. The competition is being organized by the Association of African Universities in partnership with All-Africa Students’ Union and Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.
Why this competition?
The Olympics seeks to create a common platform for participating universities across the five geopolitical regions of Africa to harness and develop young talents for the continent. It will also help foster a stronger partnership, collaboration among student athletes participating and enhance intercultural dialogue among all participants.
This initiative is one of the key strategies mapped out to achieve the African Union’s fifty-year “Agenda 2063” for the African Continent.
Twenty universities have been specially invited across the five geopolitical regions of Africa to compete in three disciplines; Athletics, Basketball and Football. UG will participate in Athletics.
The selection of Universities for the maiden University Olympics was based on performance in the Federation of African Universities Games held in Mekelle University in Ethiopia held in 2018.
The invitation to add Basketball male team to the Athletics team came at a later date which was impossible due to budgetary allocations.
Contingent and Training
The UG contingent is made of eighteen students, a Coach, a Masseur, a Medical Doctor, a Sports Organiser and the Director of Sports as the leader of delegation.
Team UG commenced training in the first week of February at the UG Stadium. The athletes selected to represent the university have shown the zeal and character in training to improve upon their performance at the mini Ghana Universities Sports Association (GUSA) Games held at University of Cape Coast in January. Raja Lagble, Prince Anis Faraj and Eric Aglo participated in the National Cross Country organized by the National Sports Authority at Mpohor in the Western Region to keep their form ahead of the Olympics in Cairo.
Athletics Coach expects improved performance
Mr. Elorm Amenakpor, Athletics Coach (Sprints) at UG praised his athletes for the level of work exhibited at training and desire to be better athletes. He remarked that he looks forward to seeing a better and improved performance by his athletes.
“The team keeps improving competition after competition. At the West African Universities Games in University of Port Harcourt and mini GUSA Games in University of Cape Coast, we saw clearly the performance of the team especially the male team improved. The African Universities Olympics will certainly give my athletes the exposure and experience they need in developing their careers and also as means of preparing for GUSA 2020 at UG.”
Director of Sports lauds the idea of African Universities Olympics
The Director of Sports at UG, Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu lauded the idea of putting together an African Universities Olympics which is innovative to further promote sports on the African continent. He added that UG is happy to be part of the maiden edition, a clear manifestation of our international outlook achieved through sports.
The team departs Accra on Tuesday, 12th March, 2019 for the Olympics.