INTERVIEW WITH AKINRODOYE DARE SAMUEL(DREH) - A UG SWIMMING CHAMPION




Interviewer: Eugene Ohene-Tutu Ansu (EOTA)

Interviewee: Akinrodoye Dare Samuel (ADS)

“I love swimming. When I’m in the water, nothing else matters to me; just the strokes pulling me through the water. It is the calmest and safest place to be”

- Akinrodoye Dare Samuel(Dreh)

EOTA: Mr Akinrodoye, thank you for making time for this meeting and congrats on your numerous achievements as a sports personality and student leader in the University of Ghana (UG). Before we move to other matters, kindly introduce yourself. 

ADS: Thank you too, Eugene for this opportunity. I am Akinrodoye Dare Samuel. I am a Nigerian. The name, Akinrodoye is a personal inspiration to me since it basically means boldness. I was admitted into UG in 2014 and joined UG sports in 2015 as a swimmer. I am a self-motivated person. I like to make impact wherever I find myself.

EOTA: How was your first time experience with the UG swimming team?


ADS: I will say, it was quite uneven. I needed a family to belong to. I sneaked into one of their training sessions. I looked weird before them as I knew very little of what was being done. Later, I became reluctant, I felt like quitting. It took the encouragement of my teammates and the coach, Mr Daniel Opare, to bring me back to my feet.

EOTA: Talking of encouragement, who are your inspirers, those who encourage you to do more? 

ADS: First of all, my mother, Mrs Fadekemi Wunmi Akinrodoye is a major source of inspiration to me. She is a go-getter. Her zeal to achieve more in life gives me no excuse to relent. Also, my coach, Mr Daniel Opare,my predecessors; Mark Ofosu Twum and Edna Daniella, my friends; Danilo Wongibe, Mensa Suleiman, Charles Okolie, Nana Aikins Akyeme, Asante Yeboah Richard and John Kwame Bordebo and all my teammates who, remained loyal to me unto this day. They are rare squad. I don’t ignore my self-motivation which is, never to be intimidated by my opponents. I also credit my swimming skills and ability to lead to the UG Sports Directorate. I thought I knew how to swim, but the Sports Directorate has been able to make one who sneaked into a training session a champion. 
EOTA: How did you combine your academic work with sports?

ADS: I came to school to learn, but I also loved to do sports. So I thought to myself, “You can risk your first class honours, but never end up with a lower Grade Point Average (GPA)”. I made sure I attended all my lectures as much as possible. I practiced self-discipline. I took myself to lectures and brought myself back to learn.

EOTA: What were your achievements and accomplishments as far as swimming and student leadership at UG is concerned?

ADS:
-       Captain of the UG swimming team (2016 to 2018).
-       Assistant captain of the Jubilee Hall & International Students Hostel swimming team (2015 to 2017).
-       First international student to hold the Office of the General Sports Secretary (2017/2018)
-       Won over twenty (20) medals as the assistant captain of the Jubilee Hall & International Students Hostel.
-       Vice-Chancellor’s Sports Commemorative Award (2018).
-       SRC male sports personality of the year (first international student to win this award)(2018)
-       Advocated for swimming to be part of the Ghana University Sports Association (GUSA) games.
-       About 20 medals from various inter-clubs and international competitions.

EOTA: What has been the contribution of the International Programmes Office (IPO) to these achievements?

ADS: First of all, IPO received me and helped me to settle as a UG international student. The office has assisted me in various ways in terms of enquiries and services. The office gave me the opportunity to showcase myself. Everything makes sense now because I am an international student, assisted by IPO.

EOTA: What will be your advice to other international l students?

ADS: There is no barrier in terms of sports and student leadership. Just as a Ghanaian student can be successful, so can an international student. Remember, you do sports first of all, for yourself. You do it for your personal development. I know the International Programmes Office and the Sports Directorate are ever ready to assist my colleague international students. 

EOTA: Samuel, let’s end with your last words.

ADS: Joining the UG swimming team is one of the best things I have experienced in my stay on campus. My special thanks goes to the Director of Sports, Dr Bella Bello Bitugu, the Assistant Registrar of Sports Directorate, Mrs Regina Afari Boateng, the Dean and Assistant Registrar of International Programmes Office, Prof Ama de-Graft Aikins and Mr Daniel Hormeku respectively, for the immense support and exposure given me. I also want to thank the University of Ghana Sports Directorate, the Ghana University Sports Association(GUSA), Ghana Swimming Association(GSA), the University Students' Sports Council(UGSSC) and my family outside blood relation, the University Swimming team(Legon Marines) for their unending support.

 
                            Samuel proudly showing his medals

                                   
Samuel, at the International Programmes Office with his plaques and medals
 
Samuel with the Dean of International Programmes Office, Prof Ama de-Graft Aikins 





      












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