CEO of Dreamland Sports Plus, Mr. Emmanuel Ola Williams has rejected reports suggesting that the Ghana Education Service has canceled Pillow Fighting and Tug of War in schools.
Speaking with betterghanadigest.com in an interview, Mr. Ola Williams who is also President of the Ghana Tug of War Federation as well as Pillow Fight Championship, Ghana and Africa, said his outfit has not received any official communication from the Ghana Education Service indicating the cancellation of the sport in schools.
“I have not had any official letter from them but there is a rumor to that I have also heard. They have not cancelled it; they have suspended it because of the rumor that somebody could put a stone in the pillow to hit during fighting”.
He disagreed with the notion that the sport was dangerous, explaining that just like boxing, in which the boxers come with their own gloves, the gloves are expected before they fight. In the case of Pillow fighting, the pillows are provided by the organizers; for that matter, there is no way organizers will put stones or other foreign objects in the pillows to hurt participants.
He recounted that during his school days, students used to play with pillows in the dormitories and this is still going on in many schools and homes.
He said the pillows used in pillow fighting are specially designed to ensure that fighters are not exposed to physical injury.
Ola Williams said because we don’t do boxing in Schools here in Ghana, pillow fighting has come to entertain students and also to provide opportunities for those who are skilled in the field to travel for various championships across the world.
Meanwhile, he says he sees nothing wrong with the decision to suspend it since the idea is to allow for further engagements due to the rumors going around. He is therefore, looking forward to meeting the GES in the coming weeks.
According to him, the GES cannot be taken out of sports development in Ghana because it holds the keys to Ghana sports. He said during the days in which players were selected from Schools to form the National Under Seventeen football team, the Black Starlets, we were getting quality players.
“If properly we want to promote grassroots sports, you can’t take GES out of grassroot sports development. Asamoah Gyan and co, they were all from the Secondary School. Michael Essien went to Snt Augustine. So, if you are able to promote sports through the Schools, you will get future champions you can think of winning trophies for Ghana”.
He underscored the importance of pairing education with sports development, explaining that even for the few uneducated athletes who get the opportunity to perform at the international level, signing contracts is a major problem because of their inability to read. They always have to rely on people to read and explain to them.
It is therefore the best approach to begin from the schools regarding grassroots sports promotion. “That is why we went to the Ghana Education Service”, he stressed, adding that he has collaborated with the GES in most of the programs he has done.
However, if Ghana Education Service says they should not involve the Schools, they will focus on the communities. He added that the people in the schools have communities so they will
“If GES said we shouldn’t go to the schools, fine, we’ll do the community. Ours is to promote grassroots sports, and in grassroots sports two places are involved, the schools and the community. So if GES says we shouldn’t do it in the Schools, they are the people, the people in the communities, they go to the schools. So if GES say we shouldn’t go to the schools, we can use the community to train them about pillow fighting”
However, he was quick to add that it was his prayer and belief that the GES will reconsider their decision to allow for the right mechanisms to be put in place in order to ensure that the young ones are given the opportunity to develop their skills in pillow fighting since it will also provide a lot of benefits socially and economically for those involved as well as the nation as a whole.