Takoradi, October 14, GNA- Mr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah the Western Regional Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for the Takoradi Constituency, has cut the sod for the construction of an AstroTurf to boost sporting activities, especially football in the constituency.
The construction of the project fully funded by the GNPC Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) investment arm of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) had been awarded to the Waste 360 Company Limited and was scheduled to be completed in twelve (12) weeks.
The traditional football ground, also known as “Kobby’s Park” had seen the rise of many football stars in the region like Augustine Arhinful, Abeiku Ainooson, Steven Baidoo, and aided the qualification of FIjai FC to a Division One League.
Speaking at the sod-cutting ceremony for the landmark project which is aimed at restoring sport development in the Takoradi Constituency, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GNPC, Dr. Kofi Koduah Sarpong expressed the optimism that the AstroTurf project would facilitate the development of more football talents in the constituency and the Metropolis as well as the country at large.
“The reconstruction of the ‘Kobby’s Park’ to an AstroTurf for the entire community would benefit and help lift football among the youth and the school children around the area as well as develop sporting activities in the region again”.
Dr. Sarpong indicated that the project was in line with the Foundation’s vision to have decent modern multi-purpose sports facilities across the country for sports and talent development among the youths in the country.
According to him, the project should have been done last year but due to challenges of a proper location, it was delayed and called on the contractor to do well to complete on schedule.
Dr. Sarpong commended the contractor about the engineering work done so far, adding that it would help solve the perennial flooding around the area.
The project according to him was expected to cost $350,000 with strict adherence to value for money.
He disclosed that the GNPC Foundation focuses on economic empowerment where it has facilitated a number of programmes in self-reliance and business development and education through which it has given about 4,000 scholarships to the youths in the country while taking other infrastructural projects.
Dr. Dominic Eduafo, Executive Director of the GNPC Foundation stated that his outfit had undertaken a number of AstroTurf projects for communities to improve upon sports development bringing the number to seven (7) in the Western and Western North Regions.
Mr. Darko-Mensah, expressed the hope that the youth would be enthusiastic about the project in order to harness their sporting talent.
He disclosed that the park was supposed to have been cited at New Takoradi and would have been completed but due to the challenges with the availability of land had to be repositioned hence the delay and called on the contractor to speed up work to complete it on schedule.
According to him, he has spent a lot of effort and investment in the park is trying to give it a facelift to benefit all but wasn’t materialised following the mishandling of it by some unscrupulous persons in the community and neighbouring areas.
Mr. Gershon Sogbe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Waste 360 in an interview with the GNA said AstroTurf would be fitted with floodlights so that events could be hosted in the night with the installation of a substitution bench for teams and chairs for spectators.
He announced that the artificial grass turf was earmarked for renovation every ten years after the successful completion and has the standard football pitch size of 90×110 with a complete drainage system to contain the flood situation in the area.
Headteachers, students, and members of the community who were present at the sod-cutting ceremony expressed their excitement and sense of gratitude to the MP and the leadership of the GNPC Foundation who have released funds to ensure that the project comes to successful completion.