Five athletes who paid a familiarisation visit to Accra on Tuesday were in unison about the inspiration brewing within their ranks these days since the assumption of office by renowned boxing promoter, Francis Decland as President of the Ghana Rowing and Canoeing Association (GRCA) in June this year.
The former Chairman of Promotions of the Ghana Boxing Authority took over from Hon. Nii Tackie-Komme and wasted no time at all to lead his executive board on a journey to the training and camp base of the athletes in Ada whilst also championing causes to popularise and develop the sport.
“He is doing very well, we have never seen such good and caring leadership before. We were surprised when he and the other executives visited us in Ada and we are also overwhelmed by the plans he has told us about,” said Isaac Adopleh, the assistant technical director who coordinates the team’s training in Ada.
“We heard the news that some of us were going to an international championship in USA but it didn’t come on which made us worried. So the President invited us to come and meet him in his office in Accra to explain things for us. We are glad to be working with him,” Adopleh added.
True, Adopleh and the other athletes met Mr. Decland in Accra on Tuesday during which their paramount request was for the construction of a standard gymnasium to help improve their training and muscle building aimed at improved paddling whilst on water.
The GRCA chief assured them that their request for a gym, training kits, visits to their families and the federation’s financial support will be delivered soon after which he donated bags of rice and cash to the athletes as he urged them to go and work harder ahead of other international competitions coming up including the All Africa Games and 2016 Rio Olympics.
GRCA Technical Director, Ignatius Odotei Sowah who accompanied the athletes to the office of Mr. Decland, advised the athletes to take their training serious because the association is far advanced with plans to meet demands for much needed facilities and equipment.
“Don’t ever joke with your training because it pays to be a champion and you can only become a champion by training hard,” Mr. Odotei Sowah cautioned.
“I can assure you that the federation is also far advanced to get you some modern boats and a permanent boat base and site. All you have to do is work harder to make yourselves and Ghana proud,” the technical director added.