“Covid-19 a blessing in disguise”, GAHA Veep

The world came to a stand still in the early part of the year 2020 after being hit with the Covid-19 pandemic. The disease brought every activity across the globe to a halt. This include closing down of schools, restricting public gatherings, and pausing all sporting activities.

As part of the measures put in place to stop the spread of the disease, a ban has been imposed on all sporting activities in Ghana. With this, the Greater Accra Hockey Association (GAHA) had to put on hold it’s activities for the year. The announcement from the President of Ghana in the month of March regarding the ban came exactly six days to the start of the Greater Accra Hockey League forcing GAHA to reschedule it’s activities.

The Vice President of the Association engaged isports360 in an exclusive interview. Mr Derek Tamakloe in his interview spoke about the impact of Covid-19, the plans of GAHA as well as the roles played by stakeholders so far.

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“It’s a global pandemic which has changed everything. No one predicted this because we never saw it coming – a time where everything will come to a standstill. Sporting activities across the globe have been halted”, he said.

“All other things being equal, the second round of the Greater Accra Hockey League would have been ongoing. It’s rather unfortunate but our lives come first. This was going to be a great year for Ghana Hockey hosting the North-West qualifiers for the 2021 Hockey Africa Nations Cup and the Youth Africa Nations Cup…but we will have to put that on hold”, he added.

“We are not in a hurry to get things back to normal for now. Our sponsors and stakeholders understand the situation at hand since it’s no fault of ours. It’s a global thing which is likely to be with us for sometime if not forever hence we need to adapt living with it”.

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“Although we are not actively playing hockey, we have been engaging our stakeholders in numerous activities. GAHA has been organising workshops for coaches, team managers and players at large. These are in place to help the entire fraternity know more about the game”, he continued.

“We have all clubs and players in mind during this pandemic. Clubs like GRA and Exchequers are doing a great job providing for those players in this era. We haven’t decided on packages for clubs yet since most of these clubs are doing that for their players. This hasn’t been discussed because we don’t have any professional hockey club (hockey is the only thing they do)”.

“This pandemic however has been a sort of blessing. The players and all involved in the game have been given this break to read and learn the rules of the game. It has given us the opportunity to also learn and understand the technicalities of the game. The workshops organised by GAHA, Africa Hockey Federation and International Hockey Federation have really been of great help to the hockey fraternity in Ghana. It has helped us exploit technology, the real importance of technology. We are not ready to go back to the field even if the President lifts the ban on sporting activities. For now, I can say the season is not starting anytime soon. We will need the consent of all stakeholders before we make our final decision”.

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“We are concerned now about the lives of everyone hence no need to rush to the pitch. We urge all to adhere to the strict rules and regulations by the government and hopefully this too shall pass”, he concluded.

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