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Title
Virginia Bunker
Indiana University- Bloomington

Bio

Virginia BunkerVirginia Bunker is pursuing her M.A. in African Studies at Indiana University on a FLAS fellowship.  She obtained her B.A. in International Studies from the University of Richmond.  Before coming to Indiana she was a high school track and field coach and worked for WAVE Reach, a local nonprofit in Washington, DC that works with disadvantaged youth, helping to establish their service project in Africa

Abstract

Global and Political dimensions in Ghana’s sport development

Ghana has carved out an important place in the world of sport over the past few years, particularly since the Black Stars’ impressive debut in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  Having hosted the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations for football and the 2009 Africa Cup of Nations for field hockey, and then qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and winning the 2009 U-20 World Cup in Egypt, Ghana has become a significant contributor to athletic performance on a global scale and in hosting capacities in Africa.  The global and political dimensions of sport development in Ghana, however, have facilitated what I refer to as surface development, which is more concerned with an image of the country presented to the global stage than with sustainable effects.  While surface development in sport, such as the construction of facilities, hosting of events and sponsoring of teams to attend international tournaments is highly important in a country’s sport development and should receive financial support, it is not the most critical factor as it cannot create sustainable change alone.  The new, ultra-modern field hockey stadium that Ghana’s government built for the Africa Hockey Cup of Nations is a great accomplishment for sport in Africa, but the true challenge is how the stadium will be used in the future and how increased interest and participation in the sport will be harnessed.  Sport in its many forms has immense potential to create personal and national development but when surface development receives the majority of funding and neglects areas like grassroots development of sport, sustainable growth cannot be achieved.  A disconnect develops between the encouragement of youth to participate in sport and the desire for international success.  This is the trend that seems to be unfolding in Ghana’s sport development.   


Simon Akindes
Hugh Bartis
Virginia Bunker
Andrew Carlson
Andrew Guest
Andrea Frohne
Sheri Huckleberry
Jemadari Kamara
Patrick DeSouza
Ousseynou Ndiaga Diop
Musonda Kapatamoyo
Siphokazi Magadla
Bose Maposa
Jennifer McArdle
Douglas Mpondi
Andrew Novak
Kwabena Owusu-Kwarteng
Kristofer Olsen
Mike Raskys
Martha Saavedra
Fletcher Ziwoya
Ali Ziyati

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