The Communications Director of Dreamland Sports Plus, Ayiku Ocansey, has shed light on the organisation's proposal to introduce Tug of War and Pillow Fight as sports disciplines in the Ghana Education Service (GES) for basic and senior high schools.
At a press conference in Accra on Friday [June 9, 2023], Mr. Ocansey apologised to the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum and clarified that the Minister had no involvement in the matter.
He emphasised that Dreamland Sports Plus had directly written to the Director-General of GES to request the introduction of these sports disciplines in schools.
In response to their letter, Dreamland Sports Plus received a reply from the Director-General of GES, Mr. Stephen Kwaku Owusu (Ag. Deputy Director-General), granting approval for the introduction of Tug of War and Pillow Fight.
The organisation was instructed to collaborate with the Physical Education (P.E.) and sports unit of the GES at the headquarters to plan and organise programmes and activities for the implementation of these sports, with the aim of discovering and nurturing young talents without disrupting the teaching and learning process.
However, Mr. Ocansey expressed surprise and disappointment regarding some media reports, which criticised the approval given to Dreamland Sports Plus. The reports made several inaccurate allegations, which Mr. Ocansey sought to refute.
First, it was claimed that there is no Tug of War Association in Ghana. Mr. Ocansey clarified that there is indeed a national Tug of War Association, which received a provisional certificate from the National Sports Authority in February 2023.
Second, the programme suggested that Pillow Fight is dangerous due to the possibility of placing a stone in the pillow. Mr. Ocansey explained that Dreamland Sports Plus provides specially-designed pillows for these fights, which are soft and certified by the International Pillow Fight Championship. These pillows pose no risk of injury.
Another false claim made in the programme was that students participating in these sports would disrupt classroom learning. Mr. Ocansey reassured that the GES has a structured timetable, and during physical education (P.E.) periods, all students participate together as a class.
Regarding the permission granted by the GES, the reports alleged that it only applied to pre-tertiary institutions and not universities. Mr. Ocansey invited the media to judge for themselves if this claim holds true because his outfit had organised many events at tertiary institutions in the past.
Lastly, Mr. Ocansey highlighted the importance of sports in mental development, stating that participating in sports helps improve memory and intellectual capacity.
Mr. Ocansey took the opportunity to explain the concept of Pillow Fight, describing it as a common game played by children and adults, engaging in mock physical combat using pillows as weapons.
He mentioned that Dreamland Sports Plus, in collaboration with Pillow Fight Ghana, had organised numerous pillow fight competitions in communities, basic and senior high schools, and even during university events and celebrations.
He emphasised the benefits of Pillow Fight, such as promoting personal hygiene, contributing to physical development, and providing mental and physical exercise, as stated by Mr. Steve Williams, the founder and CEO of the Pillow Fight Championship based in Florida, USA.
In conclusion, Mr. Ocansey urged the public to disregard the unfounded allegations.
He expressed the organisation's commitment to collaborating with the public in promoting and developing physical education and sports in Ghana.