• From Buckingham Palace to Gomoa Palace

    June 2nd 2017. CAC’s Jordan Stephenson blogs on working with Gomoa Sport for Change in Gomoa, Ghana.

    This week the training took place in a tribal village of Gomoa Benso within the Central Region of Ghana. The partner we are working with is Gomoa Sport for Change who are based in a government school and specialize in Football, Handball, Volleyball and Athletics. Among the team from CAC was  myself, JK (one of our Global Citizens this summer) and Oti (a legend within the CAC community and a Community Impact Coach for the Ghana partners this year).

    Upon arrival we were welcomed by the Queen Mother of Gomoa at the Palace where we would be staying. She sent her apologies that the Chief was out of the country and therefore would not be able to welcome us personally. Within the Palace there were staff to cook our Ghanaian traditional food (fu-fuo and banku were our particular favorites), the family of the chief and the queen mother as well as ourselves. It was tough to get a moments rest as after two minutes of arriving back at the palace we have dozens of children outside of our room wanting to hang out with us!

    The day before the training we were taken to watch an FA Cup 4th round match between local team Proud United FC and national giants Ashanti Ktoko, we were hoping to see a giant killing game typical of that of the English FA Cup however that was not to be the case. For the second half we stood next to a commentator for a National Radio Station: Accra FM and he asked myself and Oti to be pundits and comment on the key moments of the game, which was something we grabbed at the chance to do! The experience of exiting the stadium whilst negotiating our way past the disappointed and frantic home supporters was something I will never forget – somehow it is always the referee’s fault!

    During the training we had a combination of coaches and teachers as well as Mr Afried who is the Director of Physical Education within the Ministry of Education for the region of Gomoa Central who has jurisdiction over 250 schools. He was very interested in the work we were doing and will subsequently write a report of his findings to share with the Director of Education – a great advocate of the use of sport for social impact within physical education.

    A big highlight of the training was delivering on Thursday when we showed that being exposed to the elements (heavy heavy rain) was no obstacle for playing sport and being active; especially in a country which has a rainy season lasting for 7 months!!

    A big focus of the training was looking at traditions, and which traditions have been in place for a long period of time which hold the community back. Therefore it seemed quite ironic that we were staying with the Chief and Queen mother (the cultural leaders of the community) at the palace, whilst at the same time asking what they thought the impact of having cultural leaders was on their society.

    The training was a success and resulted in more coaches and teachers who are highly motivated and upskilled to start to be an agent for social change through sport; whilst being supported by Gomoa Sport for Change who can support them to achieve community change.

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