Former Commissioner of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Emile Francis Short, has made a clarion call for more investments into the development of state-of-the-art sporting infrastructure to harness the economic and health benefits of sports.
According to him, investments in sports have various benefits for individuals and communities, including promoting physical activity, improving health and fostering social connections that hold the potential to increase the life expectancy ratio.
Justice Short emphasised that sports can contribute significantly to increasing life expectancy and job creation in several ways in the medium to long-term.
Speaking to the media on the side-line of his 80th-anniversary celebration dinner and golf tournament, Justice Short, who as the first Commissioner of CHRAJ, mentioned that the game of golf for instance is scientifically proven to be an anti-aging antidote with the ability to reduce aging by about 10 years.
“It’s a blessing that I am still alive at age 80 and not only alive but also able to play golf. This game is a mental and physical game, which needs a lot of concentration and coordination. Scientists say that if you play golf regularly, it adds 10 years to one’s lifespan, so it’s an anti-aging game.
“We must encourage the youth to play golf because in Europe and the Americas, the top players in sports are those who started at a very young age and grew up with the sport. But unfortunately, we do not have that culture here and that is also because the facilities are very limited. Nonetheless, parents should be encouraged to help in driving the children’s interest in sporting activities like golf considering the enormous benefits,” he said.
He revealed that if a player completes nine holes in a game, it is equal to walking about four miles and doing 18 holes is about eight miles, hence the need to encourage the game among both the young and old.
Participation in sports is known to improve physical and mental health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. Regular physical activity can also lead to increased life expectancy by improving overall health and reducing the risk of premature death.
Captain of the Sakumono Celebrity Golf Club, and Chief Executive Officer of West Africa Platform Services Ltd., Theodore Asampong, on behalf of the team, eulogised the former justice for his selflessness and down-to-earth attitude.
“We have known Justice Short for over 10 years on this course. He has been playing this sport for over two decades and has achieved a lot in life but he is a humble man who is very down-to-earth. If you see him playing with everyone, you will not even know he is such an accomplished person and that is one thing we have all learned from him. May he live long and continue to be a mentor to us,” he said.
He added that the club is also concerned about the development of the sport in the country and so has developed an initiative to reach out to schools in the neighbourhood to introduce the game to them, as part of plans to encourage interest at an early age.
Mr. Asampong, meanwhile, dispelled the notion that golf is a game for the rich.
Investment in sports can create job opportunities in various sectors, such as sports facilities, sports equipment manufacturing, sports events management, professional sports personality, and coaching. Additionally, sports tourism can also generate employment opportunities in related sectors such as hospitality and transportation.