Chris Koney’s column: Erykah-Monae Quartey – a promising British–Ghanaian record holding athlete 


Over the years, we have experienced falling standards when it comes to the various sporting disciplines across the country. One thing is certain, Ghana has an abundance of talents in various sports – from boxing, soccer, hockey, swimming to athletics.

Unfortunately, we have suffered from a myriad of issues ranging from insufficient governmental support, lack of infrastructure, systems and structures, ineffective talent development and management scheme to inadequate investment.

In the United Kingdom, for example, there is a programme to support athletes across England and Wales to achieve sporting excellence. The programme supports athletes competing at a national or regional level in their designated sport.

It is designed to help athletes to get to that next step in their sporting achievement by providing free access to much needed training facilities. Membership is open to all sportspeople, including those with disabilities who meet the eligibility criteria when applying.

I recently met Erykah-Monae Quartey, a 12-year-old British athlete of Ghanaian descent who is currently visiting the country with her parents. She was at the El Wak Stadium for her daily drills with her Ghanaian coach, Amuzu. Erykah-Monae, who was born in the United Kingdom, holds the European age 10 record for 100m and 150m and was shortlisted for the Sporting Champions Awards for young champion of the year.

A year one student of Whitmore High School, Harrow (year 7), she is the Middlesex championships triple champion, Gold: 100m, 200m and shot put for Under Thirteen (U13) in her first year. She also won the SEAA Outdoor Championships double bronze in 100m and 200m in the U13 division. And was selected by Middlesex county to represent them at their annual inter-counties competition.

Recently, Erykah achieved entry standards for the U15 championships in Sheffield. In an age group above her age, she went on to perform well and achieve 2 new pbs (personal bests). Erykah–Monae’s field of sports are U13 (2nd year) Sprinter – Athletics – 60m, 100m and 200m as well as shot put.

She is coached by the multiple medal winning track and field sprint athlete, TJ Ossai, founder of Be Fit Today Track Academy (BFTTA), who is a nine-time World Masters Champion and five-time European Champion for 100m, 200m and Relay.

He is also the personal trainer and coach of Ghanaian British rapper, singer and songwriter, Stormzy.

Being part of ‘The Sporting Champions scheme from Everyone Active’, Erykah–Monae has the opportunity to access all their track and gym facilities nationwide as part of her development process.

The excited Erykah–Monae spoke about her journey in the sports that gives her a lot of joy. “I started running at age ten and it has been the best decision ever. I thank God for giving me this talent and I am thankful to have the family support that enables me to train at a great centre and club, as well as the opportunity to compete around England.

“Running has changed my life and given me confidence in myself and the ability to commit to my goals while keeping up with my studies. It has really opened me up to a whole new community and I have made so many friends,” she stated.

According to her father, Quentin Quartey, “the current goal is to help her keep training hard with coach TJ for outdoor season l and the upcoming championships. We are looking forward to her achieving good times ready for U15 year group next year as she consolidates everything learnt at her championships and work on race execution”.

Her mother, Kaye-Ann Quartey, indicated that the family is very proud of her tenacity and dedication, which have been very inspiring. “Erykah-Monae is not only a great role model to her younger siblings, but also to teen girls in sport as a whole. She uses her instagram @erykah_runs to share her training journey and encourage others who may be facing the same challenges as her to never give up. She manages to keep her grades high in school despite late nights and early mornings due to her training schedule. We couldn’t be prouder,” she added.

At the 2022 Oregon World Athletics Championships, it became obvious the future of British athletics looked very bright, with the British team having a lot to be proud of. Without a doubt, Erykah–Monae is on her way to becoming a world great athlete in the coming years.

>>>Chris is a thought leader in Marketing Communications, Stakeholder Relationship Management Professional and International Cooperation Specialist. Over the last fifteen (15) years, he has made tremendous impact within Africa’s corporate communications and creative arts sectors. He can be reached at [email protected] / +233 20 854 1480


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