An entertaining and action-packed show is promised this Saturday, June 26 when the first-ever Grappling Ghana Open IGF GI Championship rocks the capital as over 32 athletes compete in 5 weight categories for the opportunity to be selected to represent the country in international competitions.
Presented by the Professional Combat Sports Association of Ghana (PROCSAG), the one-day competition will be held under the regulations of the International Grappling Federation (IGF) and is open to participants across Ghana as the push to establish, promote and development the combat sport intensifies.
In the event, athletes from Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Ashanti and Greater Accra, where the sport is already nurturing, will contest for honours in categories ranging from age 6 through to 40 as well as veterans at the Aliko International School inside the old UTC, near Korle Lagoon in the heart of Accra.
Participants will engage in various grappling techniques including all chokes and locks like ankle lock, leg bar, neck bar, side americana, anaconda choke, neck choke and naked choke. Successful participants will have the opportunity to represent Ghana in a Grappling world championship in Spain in September.
Winners from a recent international Grappling GI Techniques Demonstration virtual tournament which took place against athletes from 13 European countries last month will also be presented with their medals which arrived from the IGF earlier this week.
This has left Evans Bernie-Mensah, an Executive Director of PROCSAG waxing lyrical about the bright future of the sport in this country. He is urging corporate Ghana to join the bandwagon because of the immense economic and tourism potential grappling promises.
“This is a sport that everybody should push to be a part of because it will bring opportunities to the entire nation. We started it less than three years ago but the opportunities that we have got to participate in world championships to represent Mother Ghana are far greater than many sporting disciplines.”
“It’s not like other sports whose names I will not mention but some have been around even more than ten years and yet, they do not have the opportunity to go international.
This is a great sport with a great opportunity for anybody who will just find interest and participate. There is a lot of income for the athletes and it can also bring in foreign exchange through payment of taxes on their international earnings and even more.”
“We also call on corporate bodies, individuals and government to just support us because we don’t get any sponsorship at all.
It’s us the executives who just keep on contributing on a daily basis to the financing of these activities because we know the bright future we have. That is why some of us have put in all our time to pursue this agenda but we still need the support of all.”