Start 2016 Paralympics preparations now - Alem Mumini
By Philip Kofi Ashon, citifmonline.com
Second best C2 Paracyclist in the world and reigning African Champion, Alem Mumni, has recommended early preparations towards the 2016 Olympic/Paralympic Games in Brazil if Ghana wants to make any significant impact. Speaking at a press conference in Accra to present the bronze medal he won at the just-ended world race in Canada, Alem Mumuni said, “If Ghana wants to qualify and win medals at the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio-Brazil 2016, then the time to start is now.” “I plead with the sports minister to activate short and long terms plans for the development of para sports in the country,” he said. He lamented that authorities wait for long before putting measures in place for a successful participation in the highest competition for athletes, claiming that it is part of the reasons Ghana doesn’t make a lasting impression at international games. He recounted the challenges he and Ernest Yaw Ayisi had to go through to compete at the Greenville South Carolina competition in the USA and also in the World Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal race in Canada, where he won bronze and Ayisi placed 5th. He said the two had to travel for 31 hours by road from the US to Canada, instead of one and a half hours by air, due to lack of funds. Some Ghanaians in Canada supported them to pay the bus fare and took care of part of their accommodation and food costs. “We are proud to say that, through resilience and determination, these challenges turned into stepping stones to this feat we are celebrating today,” he proudly stated. Alem Mumuni expressed appreciation to Discovery Groups of Companies International and Pippa’s Health Centre for assisting them actualize the trip that has put Ghana’s name on the international map in far away Canada since the race also adds to the points build-up towards the next Olympic Games in Brazil 2016. He condemned the negative attitude towards Persons with Disability (PWDs), averring that, “So much advocacy and lobbying has been done over the years, yet the socio-economic, cultural and political situations of Persons with Disabilities have not significantly improved,” adding that, “We have been left out for far too long. Right from the family level our education is sacrificed for the so-called ‘able children’.” The reigning African Champion appealed to philanthropic organizations and individuals to come to their aid to enable them participate in the numerous competitions by the Union Cycliste International (UCI) to boost their chances of participating in the Paralympic Games. Mr. Philip Asibit Akpeena, CEO of Discovery Groups of Companies Ghana, praised the two athletes and pledged his company’s continuous support to them. He reminded Ghanaians of the fact that every person is a candidate to disability, hence the need to help them. Madam Philippa Pepera, Managing Director of Pippa’s Health Centre, said her outfit is proud to be part of this great feat and encouraged the athletes to aim higher, assuring them of support from Pippa’s Health Centre. There were solidarity messages from the National Paralympic Committee (NPC), the Centre for Employment of Persons with Disability (CEPD), Ghana Federation for the Disabled (GFD), National Council on Persons with Disability (NCPD), the Accra Rehabilitation Centre and Ghana Society for the Physically Disabled (GSPD).