Ghana’s badminton team laments over poor treatment

Miss Leticia Davordzi, a member of the Ghana Badminton Team for the 13th African Games, has expressed her misgivings about the team’s poor treatment, leading to their poor showing in the ongoing tournament.

Miss Davordzi, speaking to the GNA Sports at the team’s camp in Tema, said the team faced many challenges spanning transport, rackets, shoes, and training grounds, derailing their efforts to win medals for the country.

“For our equipment, we got that on the second day of the tournament, so for the first day, anybody that had games had to play with their equipment.

“On the second day, we got our shoes and our rackets. Unfortunately, the shoes were in the wrong sizes, so you just picked whatever was closest to your size. If you were unfortunate and weren’t present in the first few picks, then you ended up with a totally wrong-sized shoe,” she said.

Touching on training, she said they had training at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) clubhouse court, which had a smooth surface that was different from the mat at the venue for the games.

She stated that “the surface at GPHA was more of a slippery surface, whereas the mat is more of a holding substance, like you have to make an effort to move on that mat. And unfortunately, we only got an hour of practice the day before the tournament”.

She said it was very stressful for a player to have a game at 09:00 hours and less than an hour to kick-off; but unable to get transportation to the venue and had to rely on their coach’s pickup to convey them in batches from Tema to Borteyman.

Miss Davordzi indicated that although every other country had an hour of practice, unlike them, the other countries had been going to different tournaments and were already used to the material that the mat was made from.

In contrast, the Ghanaians hardly go to a lot of tournaments, so there was the need for them to have enough time to practice with the mat ahead of the games.

“I think if some of these issues were taken care of, then we wouldn’t have an excuse to say we did not perform because of them. We would be able to see our true skills and be able to say, Okay, maybe I need more training in this; I need more training in that,” she said.

She further said that when players were disheartened because the equipment did not get there early and their jerseys got to them less than an hour before they played, it became difficult for them to assess their skills and work on any shortfalls.

 She suggested that investment must be put in the sport to prepare players ahead of time, indicating that it would help them get better results in their next tournament, stressing that “you can’t compete with someone who’s doing this full time while you do this an hour or two each day”.

“A lot of players are either working or schooling and sacrificing to play; you have to take time off from school or quit your jobs to come and practice for however long we are in camp for, and then you go and compete against people who are doing this full time; they are being sponsored and are being paid. We are not doing badminton as a career, so if we could get some investments into the sport, it would be very helpful for us,” she said.

Mr Ernest Sakyi, the coach for the Ghana Badminton Team, confirmed all the issues the player raised and asked for a total overhaul of the badminton association to bring some change in its management.

Meanwhile, before the commencement of the badminton games, Mr Evans Kojo Yeboah, the President of the Badminton Association of Ghana, said his team was ready to win Ghana’s first medals as they had prepared very well over the past months.

Source: GNA

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