BY BENJAMIN OWUSU
THE NEGLECT of Ghana’s first sports college, the National Sports College (NSC) in Winneba, by the government highlights the poor maintenance culture in the country.
The college, established by the erstwhile PNDC Government in 1984 under S.M.C. Decree No.54, 1976, has trained individuals in sports to become national assets.
At the time of its establishment, Ghana’s performance in sports at the international level was experiencing a downward slide as a result of the exodus of the sector’s technical and human personnel for greener pastures elsewhere.
The college was charged with the responsibility of training and re-training the country’s technical and human resource in the Sports sector to fill the vacancies created by the exodus of our trained and skilled officials to sustain the development and promotion of sports in Ghana.
The Government of Ghana has promised to transform the NSC as a way of curing its current poor state.
“Many people think the sports college is no longer in existence but is very active. As you already know, we develop talent, soccer academy and from time to time we run courses for soccer coaches and coaches in other disciplines,” Mrs Adams Florence, the Public Relations Officer of the college, said.
As the only institution which is aimed at nurturing and training sportsmen and women for the nation, the college is yet to receive any financial support from the state.
The Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Attah, during the reading of the 2018 budget statement, said the government would ensure that the sports institution is transformed into a centre of Excellence.
The state of the Guest House with 25 rooms which accommodate sports coaches and officials who go there for short-term courses is not encouraging.
The tennis court established to polish tennis players to become professional tennis players is in a deplorable state while a proposed piece of land meant for a swimming pool has been turned into refuse dump.
The football pitch also has its tartan tracks worn out so athletes find it difficult to train on it.
“The maintenance of this place has been the problem because funds from the government were not coming, so keeping our things and reformation became difficult for us; that’s why some of the facilities were in the state you found them,” Mrs Adams Florence said.
The institution currently has 68 students.
It was alleged that during his time as director for the college, Mr Erasmus Adorkor allegedly misappropriated some monies accrued from the transfer of former Asante Kotoko duo Samuel Inkoom and Michael Anabah and also former Satellite star Abeiku Quansah, who were all products of the college.
“Yea, hmmmm, seriously, it is difficult for me to speak about it because you know we do not speak ill of the dead by Akan customs. However, since it is in the public domain, what can I say? It is true that Samuel Inkoom, Michael Anabah and Abeiku Quansah’s onward transfer fees were never accounted for. We started a fight against him (Adorkor, now deceased) but nothing positive came out of it and it’s unfortunate. Maybe God knows the reason why he took him early from us,” Collins Aduafo, the team manager of Windy Professionals, said.
Mr Eric Dwamenah, the current Director of the NSC, said he has all the collective data of the problems facing the institution.
He promised that he would seek funds to start the renovation process to revive the college.
The NSC , which has unearthed a number of national stars, is now in debt.