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How Ghana’s women beach volleyball team made it against all odds – Al Jazeera English

Ghana’s women’s beach volleyball team will make a debut at the Commonwealth Games against Canada on Saturday, but its journey to the event has been far from easy.

Just a few weeks before the team left for Birmingham, the aura at the training centre at the Laboma Beach Resort in Accra was devoid of enthusiasm, coupled with the uncertainty of what might ensue at the games and sparse support from the government.

For a team preparing for its first major event, the mood was one of despondency, mainly because its stipend by the government for the camp had yet to arrive.

This was not the first time the team had received a financial blow. As a result, motivation was low, with the scorching summer sun adding to the woes.

The “genuine love for the game” and determination to make it against all odds were the reasons behind their perseverance for three months without funds from the government, the team members told Al Jazeera.

Ranked 104th in the world, Ghana have been drawn in Pool A alongside Canada, gold medallists at the inaugural beach volleyball event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Kenya and New Zealand.

The team had booked its place at the event after a hard-fought battle with the best from the continent.

Juliana Otcherewaa and Rashaka Katadat fought bravely to seal the team’s place at the event, getting the better of stiff opponents like Nigeria, Seychelles, Kenya and Mauritius.

“The qualification wasn’t easy but we did it with determination,” Otcherewaa said. “I told my partner that we’ve sacrificed a lot for this extent so we need to give it our all and do the best.”

Even being able to qualify for the Commonwealth Games surprised Katadat.

“We didn’t expect to win this [the qualifying tournament],” Katadat told Al Jazeera.

“These emotions were mainly because the preparations for the qualifiers were abysmal. There was no support, no sponsors, nothing. Not even transportation fare but we saw it from the perspective that we were doing it for ourselves so whether support came in or not, we proceeded.”

Otcherewaa began her volleyball journey in 2014 after senior high school in the eastern region of Ghana. Aged 15, she joined the La Pioneers Volleyball Club, an indoor volleyball team situated in Labadi, a coastal town in Accra, where she trained to gain experience.

Her transition to beach volleyball happened by chance.

In 2014, she went to the beach to train by herself and the national beach volleyball team happened to be training there too, sparking an interest in Otcherewaa.

She hung around the training, collecting balls for the team. Later, the team’s head coach Seidu Ajanako asked her if she wanted to take up beach volleyball, an offer she took up instantly.

“They showed me the basics of the game and the rest is history,” she said.

For Katadat, indoor volleyball was her first love after she developed an interest in the sport at school. Born in Ejura in the Ashanti Region, …….

Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/sports/2022/7/29/ghana-beach-volleyball

Ghana’s women’s beach volleyball team will make a debut at the Commonwealth Games against Canada on Saturday, but its journey to the event has been far from easy.

Just a few weeks before the team left for Birmingham, the aura at the training centre at the Laboma Beach Resort in Accra was devoid of enthusiasm, coupled with the uncertainty of what might ensue at the games and sparse support from the government.

For a team preparing for its first major event, the mood was one of despondency, mainly because its stipend by the government for the camp had yet to arrive.

This was not the first time the team had received a financial blow. As a result, motivation was low, …….

Ghana’s women’s beach volleyball team will make a debut at the Commonwealth Games against Canada on Saturday, but its journey to the event has been far from easy.

Just a few weeks before the team left for Birmingham, the aura at the training centre at the Laboma Beach Resort in Accra was devoid of enthusiasm, coupled with the uncertainty of what might ensue at the games and sparse support from the government.

For a team preparing for its first major event, the mood was one of despondency, mainly because its stipend by the government for the camp had yet to arrive.

This was not the first time the team had received a financial blow. As a result, motivation was low, …….

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