CWG 2014: Ghanaian Boxers Sing National Anthem Before Training Sessions

By Erasmus Kwaw

Ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, Ghana's National Amateur Boxing Team, the Black Bombers, have taken patriotism to another level.

One basic feature of the Black Bombers training regime at their pre-Games camp in Ayr, has been their penchant to sing the national anthem and saying the national pledge of allegiance before and after training sessions.

The Head coach of the Bombers, Ofori Asare explained the rationale behind the move.

'We sing the national anthem and say the pledge because it makes you love the nation and also committed to the national course,' he said.

'The words in the national anthem serve as prayers and motivation. The words make them patriotic and realise that they're not here for themselves but for the nation.

'I introduced this concept into the national team after joining in 1996 as an assistant coach.'

 

Ofori Asare, who has been head coach of the team for the last four years, is set to lead his team out to yet another major competition.

Ghana will be represented by seven boxers at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The boxers arrived at their camp base in South Ayrshire on 1st July and have since begun final preparation towards the much anticipated competition.

'So far so good. We left Ghana on 1st July and we're now used to weather. The intensity of training has been ratcheted up while the volume of training has to been decreased as we get closer to the Games only a few weeks away.'

'The boxers are also responding to training. It's a good experience for these boxers and I wish we had this experience in the past. We've been able to spar with boxers from other nationalities and it's psychologically good for my boxers.'

Unlike previous Commonwealth Games preparations, this time around the Black Bombers will be in the host country three clear weeks before the Games.

The importance of the pre-Games cannot be over-emphasised, according to Coach Asare.

'It's very necessary because our boxers do not have much exposure locally. Our boxers need to acclamatise to the weather conditions before the Games start.

'Boxers can get psychologically worn out when you throw them straight into competition without the necessary preparation in the host country. They even have to get adjusted to the sleeping time in the host nation. We need pre-Games for a big competition as the Commonwealth Games.'

Ghana's contingent is being accommodated at Mercure Hotels, a 3- Star hotel with 70 outlets in the UK and 700 hotels worldwide. Located in the heart of Scotland's Burn's Country, the Hotel has 118 modern guest rooms with many rooms overlooking the seafront. Lunch and super are provided by a Ghanaian Chef and crew.

'The organisation has been good. The facilities, accommodation and feeding has been excellent. We have the opportunity to train in two different gyms at Coylton and Wosso Boxing Gym. We have been working out not only in the gyms, but also working on our discipline in terms of being punctual for our daily routines.'

Ghana will be represented by seven boxers at the Games: Sulemanu Tetteh (Light Flyweight), Abdul Wahib Omar(Flyweight), Jessie Lartey (Lightweight), Musah Raman Lawson(Light Welterweight), Azumah Mohammed (Welterweight), David Bawah (Light Heavyweight) and Osumanu Haruna (Super Heavyweight).

'We have been not been to any international competition since the Olympic Games in London in 2012. It's been mainly local competitions. Our boxers have the experience but lack exposure and competition. We won a bronze medal each at the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games. We hope to go further this time,' he concluded.

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