Henceforth, organisers of athletics competitions including cross country, road races, marathons and others in Ghana must officially apply for approval, the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) has announced.
According to the GAA, organisers have up to January 15 of each year to apply for permits to organise such events to earn the body’s recognition.
Chief Executive Officer of the GAA, Mr. Bawa Fuseini, however, explained in a statement yesterday that organisers that intend to hold the event in 2021 will be given an April 30 deadline.
The statement said, “permits for competitions will be granted upon receiving approval from GAA.”
Explaining the directive, Mr. Bawa, said it will enable the governing body streamline athletics in the country, protect athlete welfare and coordinate the athletics calendar to include all recognized competitions.
“Without these permits, competitions and the results therefrom will not be recognized by the GAA or World Athletics (formerly IAAF).”
He pointed out that organizing competitions that are not sanctioned by GAA also puts athletes at risk.
He said per World Athletics Rule 23.1.b, athletes may be declared ineligible for participating in unsanctioned events, adding that participation in unauthorized competitions would render athletes’ ineligible and invalidate performance(s).
Mr Bawa explained that athletes who participate in unauthorized competitions may also be excluded from participation in duly authorized competitions and may be rendered ineligible for selection unto national teams.
He noted that only results from sanctioned competitions will qualify athletes for national selection and will be forwarded to World Athletics.
He said the GAA has so far approved and granted permission for events including Ghana’s Fastest Human (GFH), Kwahu Wicket Marathon and the Takoradi Marathon.
The GAA is the World Athletics approved governing body for the sport of athletics with the mandate to develop and supervise athletics in the country.
“In line with World Athletics Rule 2 (authorization to stage competitions) and Rule 23.1.b (participation in non-authorized competitions), Ghana Athletics is required to ensure that the appropriate competition authorization, applicable international standards and individual eligibility requirements are upheld at all events held in the country.”