30th August, 2010
Former Chief Athletics Coach of the National Sports Council (NSC), Dr. Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, has urged the Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports to institute a committee of enquiry into the alleged sexual harassment of female athletes by some coaches.
Such a committee, should among other things, invite past and present athletes to submit memos on issue for documentation, he suggested.
â€œItâ€™s highly important to rid our sports of such characters, if any, and I would gladly welcome any thorough probe into the story,â€ says Dr. Owusu-Ansah, who is presently the Director of Sports at the University of Ghana, Legon.
The Times in yesterdayâ€™s issue, carried a story in which some female athletes alleged that some coaches were harassing female athletes under their care, a situation which had resulted in the talented victims shying away from the sport.
A number of female athletes narrated how they had to abandon sports rather prematurely because of the pressure by their coaches for sexual favours.
Speaking yesterday in reaction to the Times story, Dr. Owusu-Ansah, said â€œthere are a good number of athletics coaches doing a yeomanâ€™s jobâ€ and pointed to himself as a â€œshiningâ€ example during his days in the 80s and through the 90s.
â€œMuch as I donâ€™t totally dispute that there are bad immoral coaches, I strongly trust that there are morally upright ones whose only pre-occupation is to give their best and produce great athletes.
â€œYou may contact the NSC and all the athletes who have passed through my hands and they will tell you without any fear of contradiction that I did my job immaculately well. Thatâ€™s why I want to believe there are coaches who may not have touched their athletes,â€ he asserted.
Dr. Owusu-Ansah, who has held several top positions in the national sports hierarchy, mentioned former national and African champions such as Margaret Simpson, Mary Manu, Mary Mensah and Emelia Blavo as female athletes who were under his tutelage.
â€œI used my position to help develop these ladies in their formative years and after having worked for more than 30 years at the NSC, no one can come from anywhere to point any accusing finger at me,â€ the Poland-trained sports scientist declared.