2012 and 2009 Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Awardabrefa proud winner in Table Tennis, Derek Abrefa says he cherishes the recognition as an international sports hero and prays that the rewards would go with other memorable and valuable items.
The best Table Tennis player in Ghana currently told yours truly after the 38th SWAG Awards that he feels elated and very proud to be called in front of his friends, family and high profile citizens of the state to be honoured for being the best.
Abrefa who works with the Ghana Immigration Service said the Awards will motivate him to train harder and win more laurels for the nation, but would appreciate the Awards better if the lesser known sportsmen and women are given something that they can remember forever.
He noted that it could have been better if he had benefitted from a television set from Hisense, because that would make him go on and kill himself to beat the best in Africa and the world.
He hinted that the certificate, plaques and medals as well as promotional products from the sponsors are good, but if the prizes had been laptops, decoders, television sets or money, families of the awardees would be happy and celebrate the achievements better.
Derek Abrefa pointed that there are no rewards in participating in lesser known sports, excerpt for the passion that they have, so it would be ideal if the government places a mechanism for rewarding them so that it would motivate others to play in other indoor games.
The two times SWAG Award winner stressed that his passion for the game is what inspires him to keep on playing and thanks the Almighty that through the game he has found a job with the Ghana Immigration Service together with Cynthia Kwabi, the best female player of the year.
According to Abrefa, their coaches play a key role in their development into stars and superstars and it is about time that the SWAG rewards the coaches in Table Tennis like Coach Whyte who has groomed most top players from nobodies to become some people.
He also appreciated the efforts of the Vice President of the Ghana Table Tennis Association, Mawuko Afadzinu who is a patron of SWAG for motivating the players with some tournaments and rewards which keeps the players going.
He hinted that most of their equipment are very expensive and that alone can hinder a talented player who do not have money to get good rackets to play.
He urged the Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) to have a programme that would keep the players always busy, happy and rich.
“Most of us doing the lesser known sports envy the footballers when we see them in flashy cars and big houses. We are all sportsmen, but we chose to play Table Tennis and I think we should all be rewarded in a way, but not like how it is now” he said.
Abrefa believes all those doing something for Ghana should be rewarded well, else one day nobody would kill himself for the nation.
He gave the example of Ignatius Gaisah who said he would no longer jump for Ghana, but has decided for the Netherlands. And felt his decision was not bad.
“If we are rewarded well here in Ghana, nobody would think of running for another country. We have a lovely nation, with very nice and talented people in all fields. We have to develop our talents and go for the gold” he added.
Source: Sammy Heywood Okine | www.sportsinghana.com