The key stakeholders promoting American Football in Ghana, are developing good working relationships with the media in the country. This step, the stakeholders noted, will generate interest among the Ghanaian public in the sport, and also allow the media to inform and educate the public on activities being carried out.
Kwamina Vandyke, one of the critical stakeholders who confirmed the latest development in an interview said the media plays an important role in eliciting feedback from the public and the athletes themselves for the overall development of information required to position the sport in Ghana.
“Oren Burks and I (Kwamina Vandyke) have been working tremendously hard to push our mission forward by empowering our student-athletes and working on their behalf in the background”, he hinted.
He said they were working to get one student-athlete, Desmond Agyei to the states to play American football though through his efforts and their support, sponsoring him through Visa acquisition and finance for an opportunity to play American football in California.
He said Desmond has been a dedicated student-athlete since they had a meeting with him at the first camp and now has the opportunity to change his life forever even though they were running into problems getting an appointment set up with the consulate at the US Embassy in Ghana.
Mr Vandyke had disclosed previously on a Metro TV Sports Program that the team had established partnership deals with the Diaspora Affairs Office of the Presidency of Ghana, Ghana Tourism Authority, and Sempe Mantse.
“They are all excited about the mission and the work that we have done within football, the activities we have done already, and the opportunities created for athletes. We are going to bring more opportunities in the near future” he said.
The team, he said was able to make their camp an official non-profit academy this time around with the new name, West Africa Football Academy with Oren and Kwamina spearheading it.
Kwamina and Oren are set to have much more larger camping in February – March 2023, where they will bring 4-10 current and former NFL players.
Consequently, Kwamina Vandyke has had meetings with the kids throughout the month via zoom, and WhatsApp just to assure them that the management was still engaged in what they have been doing best in the background for Ghana.
Mr Vandyke stated that he believes once they have established football within the primary schools of Ghana, and have student-athletes that were capable of playing, obviously they will have a pipeline to play whether in Ghana or the States.
Mr Vandyke believes, his team’s effort and mission within the establishment of American football in Ghana will impact the nation by giving the youth a new and exciting opportunity to engage in a sport that’s team building.
From the word go, Oren and Kwamina have self-funded the project. “All the efforts thus far show commitment, and we are hoping to get sponsorship soon” Kwamina Vandyke pointed out.
He however indicated that they won’t allow funding challenges to be a negative impact or what will stop them from making an impact and great strides to help the youth achieve their goals.
Kwamina confirmed hosting bi-weekly zoom calls now to stay in touch with the athletes when he is not in Ghana, just ensuring he keeps constant communication with the kids and that they should feel loved, supported and encouraged.
Kwamina believes, that having American football working effectively, should be a part of Ghana’s culture because it will help shape the youth and the future of Ghana because of the discipline and good character-building traits, that comes with a team sport like football.