Moves to transform the defunct National Unity Games into a National Sports Festival to unearth talented athletes and help boost tourism have been hailed by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Isaac Asiamah.
The games, which were last held in 2011 due to lack of funding from the ministry, are targeted at poaching organisations to encourage sponsorships and also to boost sports infrastructure.
Held annually the event brings together athletes from across the 10 regions of Ghana to compete in soccer, athletics, boxing, basketball, volleyball, handball, table tennis and hockey with those excelling expected to join the national team.
The games will kick-off from August 31, 2017 through to September 7, 2017 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
Briefing journalists ahead of preparations for this year’s event, Hon. Asiamah said the theme for the programme which is “Sports –a tool for national unity and job creation.”
It is intended to raise the level of sports development in the country to create jobs in the industry.
Citing examples of Jamaica and Kenya, Hon. Asiamah believes that Ghana can replicate the good examples that have catapulted them to such remarkable heights in track and field events to create jobs for the numerous unemployed youth who are endowed with sporting traits.
The contribution of sports to Jamaica’s gross domestic product, according to the sports minister, had soared in recent times, adding that the heroic exploits of Usain Bolt, and other Jamaican athletes had brought honour to their country.
He, however, advised participating athletes to work hard to make it more competitive.
…with Gottlieb Baako