How you need to know about Kwame Nkrumah’s Sports legacy
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was very passionate about developing sports in Ghana especially Football. He took advantage of the beautiful game to establish and push for African Unity.
It is evidence that Nkrumah’s passion for sports and games grew way back during his education. He was a member alongside Ebenezer Ako Adjei( another member of the Big Six and the one who recommend Kwame Nkrumah to the United Gold Coast Convention, the political party which was fighting for Ghana’s Independence) as a team mate in the Lincoln University Football team from 1939-1941.
The First President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah founded his own Football Club the Real Republicans as a symbol to represent his vision of realizing African Unity and total Freedom of the Black Continent.
On 1st July,1960 Ghana’s Republic Day, Kwame Nkrumah created the Central Organisation of Sports(COS) appointing Mr. Ohene Djan (One of African Greatest Sports Administrators) as the Director. Ohene Djan was then the Chairman of the Ghana Amateur Football Association. The Central Organisation of Sports was meant to facilitate Sports management and advancement in the country and external conduct sports diplmancy. With the loyalty and dedication of Ohene Djan, Kwame Nkrumah conducted marvelous reform and structural development in the country.
During the era of the Central Organization of Sport(C.O.S) under the era of Ohene Djan, he established a Desk at the C.O.S in charge of Netball, which liaised with the schools and Colleges Sports Federation for the organization of Netball tournaments and the promotion of Netball in the country.Ghana joined the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in 1961.Okine Quaye won the Kent (England) Junior Table Tennis Tournament in 1960. In the same year E.A Quaye captured the Kent Senior Tournament. In 1962, E.A Quaye won the Africa Men’s Singles title in Cairo. However, E.A Quaye lost the title in 1964 in Accra, Ghana, but regained it in 1968 in Lagos.
Judo was introduced in Ghana by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the 1960s and gain much development in it commencement. Many young persons in some Ga communities embraced the Sports very well.
Kwame Nkrumah founded his own Football Club called the Real Republicans as a symbol of his vision to realising African Unity and the fight for the Independence of African States which were still under colonial rule. A Club which won the Ghana League. He also evoluted the Gold Coast XI into the Black Stars to reflect the new nation Ghana. Members of the Real Republicans were recruited into the national team in the 1960s.
Ghana became the first country to host and win the African Cup of Nations after winning the 1963 edition of the tournament. Nkrumah organised several friendly matches and tours for the Ghana Black Stars. Nkrumah was the brain behind the formation of the West African Soccer Federation now West African Football Union(WAFU) and suggest the start of the regional West African Soccer Federation championship giving birth to the Ghana-Nigeria Football rivalry. The West African Soccer Federation championship was then known as Dr Kwame Nkrumah Gold Cup.
Osaegyfo’s vision requested him to embrace the idea of the Confederation of African Football(CAF). He requested the Confederation of African Football to start an African Club Championship which he funded heavily upon the acceptance of this request and the commencement of the first continental Club Football competition. ‘African Cup of Champions Clubs’ started in 1964, Kwame Nkrumah served as the life Patron of the competition.
Ghana was then preparing for the 1966 Commonwealth Games but unfortunately Nkrumah was overthrown from power in 24th February, 1966 but Team Ghana managed to grab nine medals at the Games even though facing some challenges.
However Ghana Boxing was also at it rise and development. Ghana competed in the 1960 Olympic Games with Clement Quartey winning the silver medal( Ghana’s first and highest Olympic Medal).
The birth of new sports have come to be adopted in Accra, Osu, La, Kumasi, Teshie among other cities.
Ghana Sports History foundation
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