I have been considering the situation of women basketball in Ghana while also looking at our position in relation to men’s basketball which is currently a bit favourable but yet will still advocate for a change in certain dynamics.
Right from the start, I guess we must all concede that any amount of change in which ever form it takes comes with difficulty and therefore oblige fortitude and doggedness to make it work.
Like an old adage: Let put our shoulders to the wheel.
I actually don’t share in the school of thought that the blame for women’s basketball not being as popular in Ghana as it could be is the fault of those who don’t come to watch or support the women’s game, nor those who consider women less valued and not worthy of a high level of competition in the sporting environment.
A classical example is the Greater Basketball series where only a paltry of fans visit the Lebanon House and the Prisons Canteen court during matches in mid-week and weekends.
We must understand that we live in the 21 century, in the midst of capitalism, where almost everybody is interested in pure profit and is in the race to ensure material gain.
So much so, the true magic of our growing game in Ghana easily gets out of sight and the women’s game which does not seem to contribute to the increase of bank balance, seems neglected.
But with a fully devoted team of professionals comprising those who possesses real vision, positivity, good experience and above anything else, a sincere desire to raise the women’s game and take the players to a more prestigious level, we can put our hands on our chest and be proud of ourselves.
Of course the men’s game in Ghana has huge potential of becoming a huge profitable venture. The game itself is faster, more attractive, with higher jumps and more dunks as compared to the women’s game.
The players must show that they have their own unique attributes. They can provide real joy to people by playing some of the most exciting and interesting games, but in their own distinctive way – one which is so subtle and yet at the same time, so energetic and exciting.
I find it quite unamusing that Custom Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS) and the Ghana Police Service will dominate the women’s game for more that a decade as others watch on gleefully. That does not amount to serious competition and therefore bare people from attending.
I have never touched the ball in my life and will not pretend to be an expert in the game. But the kind of training drills that our women go through leaves much to be desired. Some of the coaches with the various teams and schools (JHS, SHS,Tertiary and Communities) simply lack the basics themselves and therefore the question I keep asking myself is: What are they teaching them?
It’s time they move out of their blocks and go out for refresher courses to enhance their knowledge and understanding on the modern trend of the game in the world. Some of their tactics are so behind the time and that impact negatively on what we’ve seen over the years in the country.
However despite all these, there is the fear of gender discrimination which is sometimes more drastic in basketball in Ghana than other sports such as tennis especially. There should therefore be a conscious effort to challenge this and explore the reasons.
I am sorry to say and not attempting to hit anyone but I sincerely believe the country’s umbrella body, the Ghana Basketball Association , have done little or nothing at all to help raise the interest of the game among women in the country.
There seems to be no proper direction and planning to help raise awareness and build the capacity of these talented players and year after year, they natural wean out of the system or in most cases they opt to become mothers.
It has become a hobby instead of taking advantage of the numerous opportunities that is associated with the game and that’s very disheartening and crippling.
They may be putting in an effort but that’s no substitute for working. They should get off their blocks and start making use of the mandate given them by the National Sports Authority to supervise the sports and with a primary duty to develop and promote the game .
The ultimate aim is to challenging for titles on the continent and beyond.
And if they’re not doing any of these, then I wonder what they’re doing there.
I didn’t want to single out any personality for praise but I think that will not be fair. Isn’t it?
There are those who have contributed their resources and energy in diverse ways to ensure the Association stands on it feet and does not flick in the air.
Chairman David Addo-Ashong, Greater Accra boss, Benjamin Baafi and his ever-smiling and affable vice, Kofi Amenyo deserve praise and also the positive thinking minded people.
I will end my take on this subject for now but I will surely be back.
We hope to continue to have a positive debate on how to promote the beautiful game that we all love and care so passionately about. BASKETBALL.
I arrest ma case..
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