By Sammy Heywood Okine, AIPS Member
ACCRA, June 9, 2018 – The Ghana Fencing Association officially launched its fundraising campaign on Friday, June 8. The event which was held at the Afrikiko Resort in Accra sought to solicit funds to sponsor the operations of the organization’s young fencers who will be honoring an invitation to participate in this year’s Junior & Cadet Fencing Commonwealth Games. The competition organized by the England Fencing Limited will be held in Newcastle from July 26th to July 30th.
Although the turnout was not overly magnanimous, it was relatively appreciable as media personnel, individuals and representatives of corporate bodies responded to the call of helping the cause at hand. Aside the donations which could be made on established Payputt and GoFundMe pages, items such as the Fencing Association’s branded t-shirts and other artifacts were auctioned to aid the fundraising process. The targeted sponsorship package amounts to GHC 139,767, the equivalent of approximately $30,000.
Speaking after the event the Chairman of the Ghana Audit Service, Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman – who was in attendance and made a pledge of $1,000 – commended the immense presence of the media. He further iterates the need for the Sports Ministry to turn its full focus from only football and support the activities of lesser known sports in the country such as fencing.
“At the moment, we all know fencing is not as huge as football in the country. However, we are looking to make an impact in Ghana sports.
“We are overwhelmed by the number of people who attended tonight’s event, especially the press. We know and hope you are also going to spread the message so that fencing becomes a very popular sport in Ghana like football.”
Regarding the association’s expectations of their athletes at the upcoming Junior & Cadet Fencing Commonwealth Games, he said:
“At the moment, the number of people attending is not much but we are praying they bring something home. The athletes have prepared really well but whatever they bring will depend on how well we support them.”
Ghana’s delegation to the upcoming fencing competition in Newcastle includes six male and female athletes apiece.