Let’s invest in sports to reduce our healthcare budget – President of the GOC

GOC President, Ben Nunoo Mensah GOC President, Ben Nunoo Mensah

The President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah, has reiterated the need for government to invest in sports to reduce the country’s healthcare budget.

He said a healthy and active citizen would not be susceptible to non-communicable diseases, which would reduce both the individual healthcare budget and the national health budget.

The GOC President said this during a multi-stakeholder roundtable on the recently initiated sports and health cooperation between the International Olympic Committee and the World Health Organization, with PATH as implementers.

Ghana has been selected as one of the first five countries to implement this new policy initiative from the IOC, WHO and PATH.

He said the new partnership between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and PATH would increase access to health-promoting community sports activities for more than one million people in five countries by 2025.

He said that according to the IOC, the new partnership program with WHO and PATH would strengthen the role of sport in building healthy and active communities with three main objectives: improving access and retention of targeted community sport and physical activity programs, supporting of more people, especially women and girls and people with different backgrounds and abilities, to be more active.

“Another aim is to increase knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the many benefits of regular physical activity and sports participation, including the prevention of non-communicable diseases, improved mental health and wellbeing and social connections.

Finally, strengthen policy planning and investments in opportunities for participation in community sport and physical activity and the infrastructure and physical activity legacy of the Olympic Games and other global sporting events,” he added.

He said the Ghana Olympic Committee would join and support the full implementation of all action plans resulting from stakeholder engagement.

He also called on the four key partner ministries, namely Sports, Health, Education and Local Government, to “make a conscious effort in formulating your various policies and programs to link these policies and programs to the vision of Olympism 365.

“Sport is a low-cost, high-impact tool that we can all use to work together to build a more peaceful, equal and sustainable world for all, 365 days a year.”

He emphasized that “if we can all use this low-cost, high-impact tool to eradicate poverty, end hunger, provide good health care and education, provide clean water, sanitation and energy, urge on climate action, to strive for peace, justice and If we build strong institutions, this world will be a much better place for generations unborn.”