Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) have expressed concern about sports facilities that are inaccessible to them that has made it difficult for them to effectively participate in sporting activities due to the construction styles of the structures in the country.
Mr David Aniah National President in charge of PWDs Sports Wing, expressed the worry in Bolgatanga in an interview with the GNA Sports during the launch of a Project on Friday, dubbed, “We Know Sports: Persons with Disabilities in Active Sports”.
The Project, which is a one year event and being implemented by the Rural Initiatives for Self Empowerment–Ghana (RISE-Ghana), a local NGO with sponsorship from the Australian Government is aimed at supporting PWDs in the Region.
Mr Aniah cited the construction of the new volley ball and basket ball courts at Bolgatanga, which President Evans Atta Mills cut the sod for the construction, as one of the unfriendly nature of sports facilities to the disabled persons.
According to Mr Aniah, the way and manner the contractor executed the work makes it impossible for PWDs to access the sporting facilities.
Quoting from the national Constitution, Mr Aniah stated that the practice was purely discriminatory and unconstitutional.
“It is not accessible to us, which is against the Disability Act 715. We are therefore appealing to the contractor and the Municipal Assembly to readily correct the situation if not we will use legal action to correct it”.
Mr Ayine, speaking about the achievements of the Sports Wing, said it was formed in 2001 with interim Board members to manage the affairs of the organization and since its establishment they had taken part in both national and international competitions notably the 2002 National Amputee Cup of Nations which they won.
“ Just last year we took part in the 10th edition of the All African Games in Maputu and we came home with five medals made up of two gold, two bronze and one silver”.
He said they also hosted the 4th edition of the Africa Amputee soccer tournament and they managed to get the third position and again hosted the 4th edition of the African Para-Cycling Championship which Ghana got 16 medals.
In that Championship, the Upper East Regional Sport Wing had two medals made up of one silver and the overall cyclist in Africa which won a gold medal.
Mr Ayine mentioned some of the major challenges facing the Regional Sports Wing of the PWDs as inadequate training equipment and lack of training grounds.
Mr Aniah commended the Australian Government for the support and appealed to others to also support them.
The Project Manager of RISE-Ghana, Mr Awal Ahmed said the major target of the project was to build the capacity of PWDs to enable them organize themselves and compete well in sporting activities.
He said plans were far advanced by his outfit to provide the Upper East Regional Wing of PWDs with 12 sports wheel chairs, four javelins, three shot putts and three discus among others. GNA