Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan HE. Frank Okyere and the Mayor of Inawashiro, Mr. Hiroshi Zongo and the Chef de Mission of Ghana’s Olympic Team, Mr. Michael Aggrey on Saturday met at a colorful ceremony held at the Inawashiro Cultural Center.
Mr. Unayama Tamaka, the province’s Superintendent of Education introduced the program and welcomed all the guests present.
Ambassador Frank Okyere who had earlier in the day paid a visit to the camp of Team Ghana at the Bandai Youth Center commended the athletes and officials who would represent Ghana at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for their discipline and determination as well as compliance with all the protocols.
He charged them to do their very best to perform extraordinarily well to win medals for mother Ghana.
He congratulated them for qualifying as the best athletes of the nation and urged them to challenge the best of the world at the biggest sporting festival.
He advised them not to feel intimidated or panic but try hard to compete and excel to take the medals at stake.
“I wish to thank the Mayor of Inawashiro for deciding to host Team Ghana despite the Covid-19 challenges and on behalf of the government of Ghana thank him for the warm hospitality to the delegation at the training camp.
“I am certain that the sacrifice will be rewarded if Ghana win medals in Tokyo and I am happy to know that photos of Ghana’s athletes would be on display in Inawashiro Town during and after the Games, as I hope you will have a productive stay in Inawashiro.
“May I however urge everyone not to lose focus as the whole of Ghana is looking up to you, and remember to represent Ghana as ambassadors, I am praying that you will put up your best” he said.
The Ambassador met the team together with the Mayor of Inawashiro at the Cultural Center where he presented him with a special sash. The Ghanaian team also presented the Mayor with one of the team’s colorful jerseys and a kente stool.
The Mayor of Inawashiro, Mr. Zongo then gave Team Ghana gifts including water, beverages, an undisclosed amount of money for their upkeep and special tee shirts with the inscription Patience and Persiverance which were the hallmarks of the late medical scientist Dr. Hideyo Noguchi who researched on yellow Fever and died in Ghana.
He assured Team Ghana of the town’s unflinching support and urged the athletes to die for their motherland.
Chef De Mission for Team Ghana, Mr. Mike Aggrey thanked both the Mayor and the Ambassador and promised them that the athletes are aware that in 1964, Ghana won a medal in boxing at the Olympic Games in Japan and they are certainly going to repeat that history.
Mr. Ray Anankwa, on behalf of the Ghanaian community living in Japan shared his experience living in Japan saying Inawashiro is a home away from home and they have learnt a lot in terms of time management, environmental cleanliness and patriotism.
He promised that they will fully support Team Ghana in spirit despite the declaration that supporters would not be allowed at the stadium. He expressed the hope that the bond between Ghana and Japan will grow and go beyond its current form.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is less than a fortnight from the opening and will be without spectators, however, the locals have promised to support Ghana to break the drought of medals.
Ghana is participating in athletics, swimming, judo, weightlifting and boxing.