The Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) Chairman, Dr. Francis Dodoo, has called for the recognition of cross-country race to enable it develop into other mainstream sports activities in the country.
He said the discipline when supported and harnessed very well could produce national stars, continental and world champions for the nation.
Dr. Dodoo made the call at the end of the race for the 27th Cross-Country Championship that took place in Sunyani, the host city and the Brong Ahafo Regional capital on Saturday.
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) male team won the 12-kilometre race for the male division, while the Central Region female team also won the eight -kilometre race for the female category of the championship which had the Sunyani Coronation Park as the starting and finishing point.
For their prizes, the GAF male team and the Central Region female team were presented with a trophy each and certificates of merit.
The Ashanti and the Police male teams also took the second and third positions respectively and they were presented with certificates and for the female division the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions also placed second and third respectively.
George Zigah of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Corporal Daniel Lamburum of the GAF and Akuka Williams of Prempeh College in Kumasi, Ashanti region won the first, second and third places clocking 39minutes 57seconds, 40minutes 14seconds and 40minutes 18seconds respectively for the individual best male category .
For the female individual best category, 17-year-old Elizabeth Bortsoi of Beasease Senior High School (SHS) in the Central Region, Rita Luonab,16, and Vivian Febiri both students of Ghana National Academy SHS in Kumasi clocked 32minutes 21seconds, 32minutes 48seconds and 32minutes 50seconds to win the first, second and third positions respectively.
The GAA Chairman stated that winners at the next competition would be presented with medals and there would also be an improvement in terms of organisation among others at the next competition.
The Brong Regional Minister, Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, also called on corporate bodies and individuals to consider sponsoring athletics and not only football which is also another discipline of sports.
He noted that sponsorship for sports should not be limited to football, but also to the other sports disciplines so that Ghana could produce champions in all the various sporting disciplines at the continental and world stages.
Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo commended the organizers for choosing Brong Ahafo to host the competition and congratulated the teams that won the competition as well as the individual best athletes and urged all the athletes who participated in the competition to continue to train hard and eschew all lifestyles that could affect their performance and also stay away from drugs.