feature by Emmanuel Asante Attakora
Accra, May 22, GNA – Sports development and promotion in every country hinges on some key factors and key among them is the existence of sports infrastructure.
The decision of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, to construct Youth Centres, in each region is seen a bold and positive step towards the development and promotion of sports, as well as curbing social vices among the youth.
Many countries have over the years invested hugely in the area of youth, sports infrastructure and multi-purpose centres and have yielded the desired results over time, with well-groomed sporting talents, who are equipped with entrepreneurial skills as well.
Although attempts have been made by past governments, organizations and individuals like the Lizzy Sports Complex, Kotobabi Wembley park, there are still challenges, which needed to be tackled on a nationwide basis to create that environment for the youth and future leaders to exercise, train, learn, practice and improve on the various talents that abounds in them for the growth of the country.
It is in this vein that, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) and National Youth Authority (NYA) seeks to harness the many talents across the nation, with the introduction of one region, one multi-purpose youth centre, which has seen the light of day, with works ongoing in the various regions across the country.
The MOYS and NYA Intervention
Mr. Isaac Kwame Asiamah, Minister for Youth and Sports explained that the ministry upon deeper thoughts with Mr. Emmanuel Asigri, CEO of NYA, realized that knowledge and skills would be harnessed for an immense benefit in the fight against the alarming rate of unemployment and wasteful talents, which has denied the state laurels at the international and recognized tournaments, hence the initiative.
So far, the Azumah Nelson Sports complex in Accra is receiving a massive facelift to meet international standards, which would host various disciplines in handball, a FIFA standard football playing pitch, eight-lane titan tracks of international standard, tennis, a swimming pool, an ICT centre, entrepreneurial centre, a first class boxing gym and a restaurant with an estimated 10,000 sitting capacity stands with international changing rooms for teams and officials.
In addition, sod has been cut in the nine remaining regions at Axim in the Nzema East Municipality in the Western Region, Wa in the Upper West Region, Navrongo in the Upper East Region, Dormaa Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo Region, Nyinahini in the Ashanti Region, Koforidua in the Eastern Region, Ho in the Volta Region and Dunkwa-On-Offin in the Central Region, where works has begun and according to Mr Isaac Asiamah, “the project forms part of the government's efforts to address the sports infrastructure deficit and to provide the youth with opportunities to develop their creativity and help unearth and nurture talents.
“This would ensure that all the regions would be well resourced with infrastructure and boast of at least an ultra-modern sports facility by 2019”.
Mr Asiamah further noted that "The Akufo Addo led government knows and is aware of the immense contribution sports could bring to the socio-economic development of the nation, which is why it still wants to commit to the development of many sporting infrastructure across the country," he told the GNA Sports.
According to the Member of Parliament for Atwima -Mponua constituency, Ghana’s performance in international events, has not been impressive in recent times, due to lack of resources and inadequate infrastructure, thus the need to invest hugely in that area to train and groom athletes and entrepreneurs to compete in world events and showcase the creativity and talents that abounds in the country.
The MOYS and NYA have made funds available for the nationwide projects, and it is estimated that, at least 3,000 youth and indigenous people would be recruited from the region to work on the projects thereby, providing further employment opportunities for the youth as well and making them part of the project.
The projects would provide opportunity for carpenters, masons, head potters, floor men and any other capacities that would be required in the implementation of the project.
In addition, the NYA led Mr. Asigri has also provided the platform for over 1,000 young entrepreneurs who have been trained in digital marketing and other areas, in a bid to poverty and the dependency governments jobs.
Counting on the remarkable achievements chalked in the sports infrastructure and multi-purpose youth centres all over the world, there is the need increase the number of these structures, in the regions, would further enhance talent identification and grooming and in the end promote sports development.
The chiefs and traditional rulers should be sensitized about the need and importance of having such developmental projects in their regions and on their lands, so they make lands readily available for such projects in the future. They should also lead the crusade for proper maintenance of the facilities that would be built.
And above all the maintenance that be created at the NYA for the supervision of the projects should be resourced adequately to ensure top notch maintenance of the properties that would be constructed.
This would extend the life span of the projects for more generation to benefit from it.