An exhilarating two-minute video, beamed to a global audience during yesterday’s NFL Super Bowl, summed up how the NFL created an international pathway programme for the iconic sports for Ghanaian kids, who knew nothing about the sport.
The programme, dubbed NFL Flag Football, was a kind of a camp and talent hunt, which was held in Ghana twice, in 2022 and 2023, following high-level collaboration between Vice President Bawumia and NFL officials in 2021.
During Vice President Bawumia’s major address to the nation last week to outline his vision and priorities for the country under his Presidency, he spoke about how he intends to make Ghana the African hub for emerging sports and referenced the success of his office’s collaboration with the NFL as a major reason.
“My government will also seek school-level collaboration with international sports bodies like the NBA and NFL to make Ghana a hub for these emerging sports in Africa, to create more opportunities for young people,” Dr. Bawumia said.
He added: “We have already tried this with the NFL, the governing body for American Football, which agreed to host in Ghana, in 2022, the first ever NFL Flag Football in Africa after my engagement with them. This paved the way for 10 young Ghanaians to be selected to the United States to represent Africa in a global NFL tournament last year. Another set of young Ghanaians, who were picked after the 2nd NFL Africa Football was also held in Ghana last year, are currently in the United States to represent Africa.”
At yesterday’s Super Bowl, the NFL showed a video of its African pathway programme in Accra, through an epic documentary with a Ghanaian school child and NFL legend, Osi Umenyiora and Ghanaian NFL star Jeremia Owusu Koramoah.
The Ghanaian kid, clad in Ghana’s recognisable public basic school uniform, fantasised about playing the American sport, until Osi gave him a ball and showed him a real pathway to the game, which was the African Camp the NFL held in Ghana, which Dr. Bawumia spoke about during his address.
Osi, a two-time winner of the Super Bowl and Jeremia Owusu, were part of the high-powered NFL delegation, including its Vice President, which first held discussions with Dr. Bawumia in April 2022 before the historic African camp later in the year, as well as other engagements.
The two-minute video, which ended with Osi giving the Ghanaian kid an NFL ball, and showing him a path to enjoy himself, has got many people talking on social media.
It also reinforces what Dr. Bawumia said, and surely, a major boost to his vision under his Presidency of making Ghana an African hub for such alien sports in Africa, which was first made known to the NFL during his meeting with them in 2022.
Indeed, the NFL, after the April 2002 meeting with Dr. Bawumia tweeted about his intentions to partner with them to develop Ghanaian and African talents.