Sunday, 11 November 2012

NPC - not a political party but key to elections.

Type in "NPC ghana" into google and let me know what you get. The first link will be for the National Population Council established in 1989 to advise the government on improving the lives of Ghanaians through  effective population management.

A couple of links below you will begin to find websites pertaining to news about the National Paralympic Committee. There's not much on these guys. In fact I reckon if I asked you to tell me below who Alem Mumuni or Anita Fordjour is, you'd be slightly tempted to google them. The above two are paralympians as you might have guessed. They are just two of a squad of 4. Four. Perhaps for me the four bravest Ghanaians I will ever read about because they've received no government backing. The government seems only to arrive AFTER the medals have been won.

The London Olympics/Paralympics really opened my eyes to many things. As a Londoner I must admit I had to come to terms with the fact that the Olympics/Paralympics had arrived, were changing lives, raising profiles and there was nothing my negativity will do to get London's tax money back. The way the UK rallied behind Team GB in the Olympics was inspirational and as a Londoner and a Brit, I felt that community spirit as I spoke to colleagues about how "Our Team" was doing. As a Nigerian, I felt the patriotism as I had to defend the Nigerian basketball team after the USA match. And I felt the national shame as a Ghanaian, thinking 'did I ever see a Ghanaian athlete in the entire 2 and half weeks, where were the boxing medals we expected?'

With the arrival of the Paralympics I felt all those patriotisms again. Nigeria as of Day 2 sat 10th on the table with 4 medals including 2 Golds. Much more than their able-bodied counterparts. Team GB was slightly behind target but nevertheless ahead of the USA (and that's really all that mattered, I muted my TV when 'The Star-Spangled Banner' played). Ghana we never heard much from, but I'll tell you what, I'm proud of them anyway. They were let down (them and the rest of their African counterparts) by mismanagement led by celebrity-chasing politicians. I will not cease in my mission to have more sports recognised and played in Ghana. Key to this is having a greater variety of athletes and the recognition that anybody can be an athlete. People with disabilities must be given the opportunity to decide their own destiny supported by the government whom they elect. They are not second class citizens, they can contribute just as much as anyone else. I don't want to see men and women skating around on skateboards around Airport Residential begging for money using the skills and muscles that could win them the Sprint or Sitting Volleyball on a world stage.

So as the elections approach, think not just of yourself and what these parties can do for you, Ghana, but also of your fellow Ghanaians and who has a vision and political will to do something for them.

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