“You know this is the first time we the visually impaired involved ourselves in this Judo team; this is the first time from Ghana, so I wish I will take this to the top, and raise the name of Ghana high.”
This is the wish of visually impaired Judoka, Nii Quaye Brown. Nii is 42 years old and has set his sight on becoming Ghana’s first gold medallist at the Paralympic games.
Judo is categorized as modern martial arts, which has since evolved into a combat and Olympic sport. At training, Brown uses sounds with numbers to learn what to do.
Brown lost his eyesight when he was four – as a toddler who was still trying to find his feet. He has had to battle through life’s constant impediments until he found Judo.
For Brown, Judo is a way of motivating his colleagues that being a disabled person doesn’t mean they can’t do anything.
“Before, people thought if you are visually impaired or a person with disability, you can’t do anything so I am doing this for people to know that we can also do something,” he said.
Judo’s most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or take down an opponent. Ezekiel Nii Darko Dodoo has trained Brown for a few months and believes his new client has the drive.
“For me I will say he is a very determined person, because he has been into sports already but just switching into judo so it is innate.
‘If Government and individuals supports, he can get to the Olympic games,” Dodoo said.
Brown lives in Nima in the greater Accra region. He is determined. Each morning, he struts out of his house and walks through the ghettos alone to the roadside in search of transportation to the Accra Sports Stadium where he trains.
Qualifying as a visually impaired person to the 2021 Paralympics games will be a hard feat but Brown is determined to make the cut, get on the plane and make Ghana proud in Tokyo.
By Daniel Nana Kwame Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana