Ghanaian Sports Legend and member-Hall of Fam Augustine Soga goes home, this week-end. He was an athlete, a Coach and a Teacher, who dedicated his entire life to serving Ghana Sports. Augustine Soga died on 11th June 2016. He was 80. This was a man who loved sports, participated in and taught it at many levels, coached and captained various National And Collegiate Teams.
For his accomplishments, dedication and sacrifice, he was inducted into The Hall of Fame in 2013. He dominated Ghana Athletics, especially in Pole Vault, High Jump And Triple Jump from the mid-50’s through the 70’s. At the national and international levels, Augustine Soga represented Ghana, in many events: Ghana-Nigeria (1961-1974). Ghana-Ivory Coast (1964-66) and Ghana-Benin (1962), Bilateral Athletic Meets.
Augustine Soga, set a Ghana National Pole Vault Record (using a bamboo pole), that stood for 26 years. He won 3 gold medals and silver, during The Bilateral Meets and represented Ghana in Pole Vault, at The 8th British Commonwealth Games, in Kinston, Jamaica in 1966.
In 1974, he was appointed by The Ghana Amateur Athletics Association (GAAA) as National Pole Vault Coach and finally introduced Fiberglass pole -vaulting to Ghana to replace the bamboo pole. In 1994, he officiated as Track Umpire and Lecturer at The British Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada.
One of the memorable moments of his career, was a Gold Medal Vault in 1974, when took the team to the Ghana-Nigeria bilateral meet as Coach. When they got there and the teams were announced he noticed very quickly that the Ghanaian pole vaulters would be no match for the Nigerians. He decided to become a competitor instead of a coach. To do this he had to forfeit his coaching allowance. He did and won gold for Ghana. That’s the extent of his love for his country.
At the collegiate level, he captained Ghana Academicals volleyball team and coached all track and field events at different levels. He was appointed chief coach for Ghana National Academicals track and field squad that had great achievements in their international championships. He was selected as chief athletics coach for the Ghana team that went to Federation of African Universities meet (FASU) in 1974, where Ghana placed second in the Games. He again was selected to coach the Ghana team that went to FISU (International Federation of University Sports) Games in Mexico in 1979.
He had a special ability to spot talent in young people and took pride in training them to become national and international champions. His trainees broke age-long national records, such as high jump (33 years), women shot put (14 years) and pole vault (26 years). Despite his numerous official commitments he found time to do voluntary coaching in long distance running and produced several Ghana Milo marathon champions, one of who went on to win the West Africa marathon title.
He worked at the National Sports Council from 1991 to 1994. During this period, he served as Ghana Athletics Development Officer and coach, responsible for coaching national rank as well as up-and-coming field events athletes and advising GAAA on technical, developmental, and coach educational issues. He was not only certified by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) but also selected to represent Anglophone Africa in designing, testing and implementing IAAF coaching curriculum for the IAAF Coaching Education and Certification systems. He was awarded recognition as IAAF Coaching Consultant and Lecturer. In that capacity he lectured on IAAF coaching courses in Nairobi (Kenya), Stellenbosch (South Africa) and many of the Anglophone African countries.
Mr. Sogah was, first and foremost, an educator who had taught at all levels of education: elementary (Alakple, Anlo Afiadenyigba, Atiavi RC, Tegbi RC, Keta RC), secondary (St. Peter’s School at Asamankese) and tertiary (Winneba Specialist Training College). He lectured in athletics at the University of Education, Winneba, and University of Cape Coast. Those were the appointments he held until March 2010 when he first became ill.
He was educated at Johannes Gutttenberg University at Mainz in Germany (Special Track and Field Coaching Certificate, 1977-1978), Winneba Specialist Training College, now University of Education (Diploma, Physical Education, 1965-1969), Mount Mary Training College (Teachers’ Certificate ‘A’, 1960-1962), St. Francis Training College (Teachers’ Certificate ‘B’, 1957-1958), and Keta Roman Catholic School (Middle School Leaving Certificate, 1954).
The funeral rites and burial will be held in his hometown Tegbi, near Keta in the Volta Region, on the 12th and 13th August 2016. He will be buried in the family cemetery on Saturday, 13th August 2016 at Tegbi.
Source: radioxyzonline.com/Francis Edzorna Mensah