Betway Ghana sponsors ‘empowerment’ seminar for women in football

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Betway Ghana has sponsored a one-day seminar for key managers, coaches and players from Ghana’s top women football teams. The seminar was organized in association with the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) as part of the company’s Betway Up initiative, which has seen the betting giant contributing in numerous ways to sports development in Ghana.

Participants were offered lessons on sports science, nutrition and coaching by sports medicine consultant, Dr. Kweku Laast, coach of the Ghana national women’s football team, Mercy Tagoe and coach of the South African national women’s football team, Desiree Ellis.

Betway also presented the women’s clubs with assorted sporting kits, including balls and training equipment at the seminar.

The Chief Executive of GHALCA, Cudjoe Fianoo, expressed his gratitude to Betway for the initiative and assured the women’s club officials that there are efforts to continue to raise the profile of the league in Ghana.

“Betway is trying to secure some [more] equipment for us in the future,” Mr. Fianoo said. “So we have a lot of goodies coming for [the women football clubs].”

 Mr. Fianoo stressed that GHALCA is on a mission to push for the establishment of a modern sports clinic in Ghana.

“I’ve known Dr. Kweku Laast in the the 90s. And we have a project. Bringing him here is deliberate for him to see my partners, Betway because we have a very big dream that we want GHALCA, if we strike the right chords, we should have a well-equipped sports clinic in Ghana so will not be flying our players out to South Africa,” Mr. Fianoo said. “If we can’t even put it up we want to talk to the politicians. They should try as part of the Agenda 111 to fix something specifically for sports-related [injuries].”  

Betway’s country manager in charge of operations, Magnus Rex Danquah Jnr, expressed the company’s desire to continue to support women’s football in Ghana.

“We are here to help each other and see how we can make the woman’s league what it should be for all of us to have pride in it and to help other brands want to associate themselves with us because it’s profitable for them,” he said. “It is an honour to be associated with the women’s league.”

The sports health consultant, Dr. Kweku Laast urged managers of women’s football to take sports nutrition and psychology seriously as these will help develop the game in Ghana and help the country to achieve greater success in the international arena. He also pointed out that sleep, which is sometimes taken for granted, is very necessary for success in all sporting endeavours.

He advised team managers to provide for their nutritional needs of their players, especially those on national assignments. He advised that teams on international assignments should travel with their own food supplies as meals served in foreign lands may affect performance.

“They can beat you intentionally,” he said. “They can sabotage you by giving you the wrong [food]. And you won’t do well on the field.”

Dr. Laast further urged team managers to take the mental health of their players seriously, stressing that psychology and good nutrition will bring success to teams.

“Everything starts from the mind. The rest of it doesn’t matter if [the mind] is wrong. If you start out with a mental edge, you’ve won,” he said.

Other speakers at the event included Mercy Tagoe, coach of the Black Queens, the national women’s football team and Desiree Ellis, coach of the South African national women’s football team.

The coach of the Ghana national women’s football team, Mercy Tagoe, speaking on work-life balance encouraged women players to strive to live in harmony with their family members so they can count on them for support. She urged them to also cherish their involvement in women’s football and aim for the highest levels in the game with passion.

“Love what you do,” she said. “If you don’t love what you do, I don’t think you can get to where you are aiming at. You need discipline, focus, punctuality and organisation.”

For her part, the coach of the South African national women’s football team, Desiree Ellis, urged the women players to use their inner strength to achieve greater success. “Being a woman is the most difficult thing to do,” she said.

“You can’t change what’s going on around you until you start changing what’s going on within you because you can’t have anybody and nobody can see who you are, if you haven’t changed what’s going on within you.”

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