The concept of using sports to drive education is one that has helped many countries and individuals to reduce social ills and changed many lives for the better.
A typical example is American boxer Bernard Hopkins who got transformed while in prison and became a world middleweight champion for ten consecutive years and won multiple titles in different weight categories defying all odds.
For Millicent Ankude of Ghana, the opportunity to play table tennis for the senior National team at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham comes in as a rare surprise and a morale booster to push her dreams to the pinnacle.
“I feel elated and more confident to be playing for Ghana in the Commonwealth Games. It has always been my dream to put Ghana on the world map. Seeing my dream unfolding to reality is more than exciting” Millicent Ankude
For the Bachelor of Science student in Business Administration student at the University of Ghana, one hurdle that is always difficult to overcome is how to blend academic work with sports so as to get a balance.
“I participated in the African championships held in Nigeria prior to the Commonwealth Games amidst preparing for my end of semester exams which was obviously very difficult. I needed to watch my timings very well not to fault one by giving all attention to in one direction” Millicent Ankude”
Millicent wears a coat of many colours and she is ready to inspire the next generation of young players to stay focussed.
“I am a qualified National table tennis umpire. Even as I’m here in Birmingham, I’m preparing to write the International umpiring exams in the next couple of weeks. There is no room laziness. I am also a Board Member of the International Table Tennis Federation’s Youth Committee. It’s my aim to help bring development to Ghana through sports.” Millicent Ankude.
Millicent is grateful to the Ghana Table Tennis Association, her coaches and all who in diverse ways helped her to reach the international scene.
By: Nathaniel Kwesi Somuah, Head of Media and Communications, Ghana Table Tennis Association