In the 54th edition of the UG Cross Country Competition in 2017, Commonwealth Hall unleashed another prodigy on the scene whose performance was identical to that of the competition record holder, William Akuka. Joseph Mensah a former student of Prempeh College and beneficiary of the University of Ghana Policy on the Admission of Athlete Students (UG-PAAS) made an instant impact in his first outing on the soil of UG and relishes to break the 36mins 27secs record time.
The 55th UG Inter-Hall Cross Country is scheduled for Friday, 21st September, 2018 at the Athletics Oval at 6 am. All sixteen Halls of residence, Distance Education and City Campus will participate in the competition.
The event will cover a distance of 10 kilometers for both male and female.
UG GUSA Team
As GUSA Cross Country competition beckons in October, these athletes have to justify for their selection into the University team to represent the school at University of Professional Studies, Accra.
Dignitaries to grace this occasion include Professor Kwame Offei (Pro-VC Academic and Student Affairs), members of University of Ghana Sports Advisory Board, members of the Sports Directorate Management Committee, Management of the various Halls of Residence, Students and the entire sports fraternity.
Volta and Akuafo Battle for Supremacy
In the female category, it has always being a cagey affair. The winners usually alternate between Akuafo, Volta and Legon Halls. Volta Hall reclaimed the trophy they won in 2016 from Akuafo last year and they remain keen to defend it.
Miss Samantha Broni, Sports Secretary of Volta Hall averred that they are eager and prepared to maintain the trophy.
“We know the female category is always tough and the winner unpredictable. Nevertheless, we are determined and focused to defend the trophy. The preparation has being remarkable from the very day we started. Our ladies have trained with Coach Akuka for the past three weeks and we have seen some positive changes in terms of sharpness and the desire to win.”
Commonwealth Hall looks the strongest in the male 10km race. They still boast of five out of the six athletes who finished in the top 10 in 2017. All these athletes also represented UG at the Ghana Universities Sports Association Cross Country Competition at the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa last year gaining a lot of experience in the process. Commonwealth Hall has won the male competition for the past six years.
Speaking with the Sports Secretary of the Hall, Mr. Abu Ben Adams, he emphasized that the Hall is gradually carving out a niche for itself when it comes to long distance competition.
“We are pleased and encouraged to work harder to sustain the gains chalked by our predecessors in this competition. The likes of Akuka, Balami and John Baptist all left indelible marks in the history of this competition and we are committed in continuing. It is our desire that the hall becomes a hub of long distance athletes to feed the school team for any competition.”
Mensah Sarbah and Legon Halls who came second and third respectively in last year’s competition will be determined to break the jinx of the impressive record of the Vandals come 21st September.
Akuka Expects the Best
Mr. William Akuka, record holder of the best time (36mins 27secs) in the UG Inter-Hall Cross Country competition and Cross Country Coach remarked that he has seen the performance of the athletes in training which shows they are ready for the competition. He also reiterated that he expects Daniel Yin formerly of Navrongo Senior High School and UG-PAAS beneficiary to impress spectators.
“It is refreshing as a coach to see the hardwork being put in by the athletes at training. I have informed each of them that they need to improve on the times they made last year and at GUSA. The addition of Daniel Yin is a feather in our cap and I expect him to improve the team.”
The University through the University of Ghana Policy on the Admission of Athlete Students (UG-PAAS) has admitted talented athletes across all the disciplines. In addition, some continuing student and freshers’ have received scholarship packages via the University of Ghana Sport Fund. These should serve as an impetus for them to hit the ground running and also strengthen the UG Cross Country team as well as the Athletics team
Cross-Country is a team sport and thus the overall winning Hall is determined by first six (6) athletes who complete the race. The scores are determined by summing up the positions placed by the top 6 athletes representing a particular Hall. Consequently, the Hall with the lowest scores emerges as the winner. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that, each participating Hall is allowed to present ten (10) athletes with four being non scoring athletes.