Tema, Jan. 29, GNA – Mr. Yusuf Mustapha, Minister of Youth and Sports, has appealed to corporate organizations to support the ministry and its agencies in the various districts to help in the provision of sports facilities.
Mr. Mustapha said for the country to achieve its vision of a shift from sports promotion to sports development among the youth, the provision of facilities for training, and learning was paramount.
The Sports Minister made the appeal when he commissioned the first Cruyff Court in South Sahara Africa at Tema Mante Din School premises, which is equipped with facilities such as changing rooms, floodlights, AstroTurf, and disability friendly environment.
The Cruyff Court Tema Meridian project was constructed by the Cruyff Foundation in collaboration with the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), with funding from Cargill Ghana Limited.
Mr. Mustapha indicated that the government in line with the sports development vision has since 2017 commissioned over 120 facilities constructed through public and private sector efforts.
He added that even though it was a great improvement over the two AstroTurf the country had as at 2016, it was not enough and therefore, appealed to stakeholders to support the vision and help in the provision of more facilities in the districts.
He called all key stakeholders in the sports ecosystem to come together to develop sports and to help the country to produce more sportsmen and women to lift the flag of Ghana high on the international scene.
Mr. Mustapha said apart from the health benefits of sports to the population, it also fosters national cohesion, and promotes economic activities, therefore, sports must be seen as a decent lucrative career that must be encouraged among the youth.
Mr Aedo van der Weij, Managing Director of Cargill Ghana, said the commissioning of the state-of-the-art facility was historic as it was the first in Sub-Saharan Little girl youAfrica.
Mr. Weij added that it would go a long way to promote the development of sports among the youth of Tema, for now, and for future generations saying, the project exemplified Cargill’s values of doing the right thing, reaching higher, and putting people first, as well as reinforced their commitment to improving livelihoods in their communities.
Mr. Niels Meijer, Chief Executive Officer of the Cruyff Foundation, noted that the facility would be of great benefit to kids, and youngsters for whom sport was a guaranteed part of their lives.
Mr. Meijer said “with this Cruyff Court, we create Space. Space to play sports. Space to make friends. Space to have fun. Space to grow through sports and play.
“Cargill is a partner for already many years, for that and this fantastic new Cruyff Court here in Ghana, we are very grateful,” he said.
He urged the community and the beneficiary schools to own the court and ensure its maintenance for many generations to benefit from it.
Mr. Yohane Amarh Ashitey, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the importance of sports could not be over-emphasized and would make the youth of Kwesi Plange, Padmore, and Ashiboi electoral areas active.
Mr Ashitey said 16 local coaches have been trained as part of the project to support activities and model leadership values on the court and in the communities.
He said to ensure the facility serves its purpose for generations to come, a local steering committee comprising representatives of Tema Metro Sports Committee, Kwasi Plange Electoral Area, Tema Traditional Council, Ghana Education Service, Cargill Ghana Limited, Mante-Din School, and the TMA has been set-up and charged with the responsibility of maintaining it.
Mrs. Bernice Ofori, Tema Education Director, in a welcome address commended the partners for the project, noting that over 6,000 pupils in the area would benefit from the project and have free six hours of sports training per week at the facility.
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