Graduate becomes an international class athlete after only 11 months training
Jedidiah is a track cyclist
Inspirational Jedidiah Amoako-Ackah competed in the track cycling at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and is preparing to smash the Olympics at Rio next year.
Amazingly Jedidiah took up track cycling in 2013, a mere eleven months before he competed at an international level. He has only just completed his degree in Sports Therapy at the University of Chichester.
Born in the town of Asamankese, Ghana, Jedidiah is Ghana’s first track cyclist competing at an international level. Jedidiah lived in Ghana before moving to Botswana at the age of five and then moving to Glasgow. Speaking to The Tab, he said: “I’ve been living in Glasgow for 15 years so you could say I’m a Glaswegian.”
Jedidiah took up track cycling in 2013 after taking part in a friend’s Ghanian project: “I was at uni so I thought it would be unlike for me to attempt anything and because I was in full-time education. I went to Ghana on holiday and taught at a school. I came back for that zeal for everything Ghana and the project seemed a bit more enticing at that point so I took [track cycling] up.”
Amazingly, only 11 months after beginning training, Jedidiah was competing at the Commonwealth Games. Jedidiah is modest of the accomplishment, saying: “competing at the Commonwealth Games and not coming last – that was pretty alright.”
Although he doesn’t have a coach or support team around him, Jedidiah is committed to the sport. He has at least one training session a day, six days a week. His family have also been a great support for him, despite their initial uncertainty: “‘Stay in school’ – that’s all I heard when I was preparing for the Commonwealth Games. The motto from them was ‘don’t quit your education’.”
Nevertheless, Jedidiah took a year out from his studies to prepare.
With such a large commitment, Jedidiah finds it hard to maintain a work/life balance: “It’s hard. I don’t have the support system of other national team athletes have. I have to manage myself and that takes up a lot of time as well as training.”
At least he doesn’t have to endure hangovers and lack of sleep as he is not a fan of late nights out, saying: “I don’t go clubbing. It’s not my thing. It’s not really something I have an interest in.”
Asked where he saw himself in five years, Jedidiah hopes that the sport will grow in Ghana: “Hopefully, by then, I’ll have a much improved performance and other track cyclists from Ghana joining me.”
As well as his sporting commitments, Jedidiah is very involved in charity work, promoting education in Sub-Saharan Africa. As well as this, he works with Gift-A-Bike-Foundation to get more bicycles to children to enable them to get to school.