Tribute To Saka Acquaye aka ‘Fish’ (The Friend Of Sports)

Tribute To Saka Acquaye aka ‘Fish’ (The Friend Of Sports)

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Mr Daniel Saka Acquaye played a lead role in Ghana sports for over two decades spanning the period 2000 to 2020.

The late Saka Acquaye was a former national swimming champion and a handball player, coach and a long serving Secretary of the Handball Association of Ghana (HAG).

Saka Acquaye, a product of the University of Ghana, is an unassuming great Sports Administrator who won a scholarship to attend the Sports University in Germany (University of Liepzig) where he excelled in 1994. On his return to Ghana he formed and coached the Ghana Police Service Handball Team for about seven years.

He also trained Ghana Airforce, the Ghana Army and the Ghana Navy Handball teams.

Mr. Acquaye was a former executive board member of the Ghana Olympic Committee (Assistant Treasurer) whilst at the same time serving as secretary general for Handball, Weightlifting, Netball, Basketball, Powerlifting and Body Building associations.

Fish as he was known, because he could swim was the team Manager of the National Weightlifting Team that won Gold Medal for Ghana at the 2007 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

He was also noted for developing other sporting disciplines, including boxing, tennis, martial arts, table tennis, soccer, basketball, volleyball, athletics and handball.

He rose through the ranks to become sports director of Greater Accra and was the central figure in the organisation of the Unity Games which was staged at the University of Ghana, Legon, during the leadership of the late Professor John Evans Atta-Mills. He was also pivotal in the organisation of regional sports festivals.

Mr Acquaye was transferred to the Ashanti region where he distinguished himself by the rapid development and construction of handball, volleyball, basketball, swimming pool facilties in and around the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

He was instrumental in reviving colts football in the region and established a handball and volleyball league system in the region. He also championed the cross-country competitions and other athletics programmes in the region.

He rehabilitated dilapidated sporting infrastructure at the Baba Yara Stadium, constructed new sporting play grounds and introduced many youth to the game.

His record at the Ashanti Region prompted his bosses in Greater Accra to recall him back as Deputy Director General in charge of technical duties. A post he performed creditably well.

Mr Acquaye played a key role in the reintroduction of the National Cross-Country at Mpohor as well as the implementation of many sports initiatives that saw improvement in the sports fraternity especially the least financed sports.

The late sports administrator believed in using the media as an important tool to promote and develop sports in the country. He respected journalists, offered them all logistical support.

He treated all sports men and women equally and never shied away from espousing his views on sports and how best sports could we made to help the cause of the country in its developmental agenda.

He lamented the abandonment of sports by successive politicians and governments. He never dabbled in politics. His politics was sports. His creed was sports. His breath was sports. Ghana never cherished him.

He was always relegated to the background. Scorned, rejected and humiliated by various politicians and successive governments. Even when all the good policies on developing the least financed sporting disciplines were formulated by him.

The late Saka Acquaye was never listened to. He was never paid attention to. He never complained publicly or shamed any politician or government official. He was always obedient and respectful towards his bosses and obeyed their instructions.

He was always sad that governments did not invest into sports, but just paid lop service, and feared when Ghana was to meet other well prepared opponents in international competition.

His hope and motivation helped him come out with the slogan; ‘Team Ghana – Ahoya’ when the nation was going for the All African Games.

He was survived by three children, two grand children and a wife.

From GOC Communications

 

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