24.11.2003 Sports News

Ghana to revive sporting activities with neighbours - Aliu

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Accra, Nov. 24, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama, on Monday, announced that the government is holding discussions with her Nigerian counterpart to revive the Ghana-Nigeria Sports Festival to be hosted by Nigeria next year. Similar sporting programmes would be initiated with the other neighbouring countries, he said.

Vice President Mahama was speaking at the opening of the Seventh Security Services Association (SESSA) Games at the El-Wak Stadium.

He explained that the bilateral sporting activities and other domestic programmes would serve as part of Ghana's preparations towards next year's Olympic games scheduled to take place in Athens, Greece.

Vice President Mahama expressed concern about Ghana's inability to excel in international sporting activities and stressed the government's commitment to redeem Ghana's image as a glorious sporting nation through various programmes.

The revived SESSA Games, he said, is one of the avenues to identify, nurse and nurture talented sports persons as a means of revamping sports.

"At The moment Ghana cannot lay claim to sports supremacy in any discipline even in West Africa," he complained.

He blamed the situation on lack of adequate planning, promotion, development of sporting facilities and coordination among the various stakeholders.

The Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, Ghana Prisons Service and the Ghana Police Service are participating in the five-day games.

Additionally, Vice President Mahama said, plans are underway to organise inter school sporting competitions at the regional and district levels to hunt talents.

District, regional and national sports festivals would also be organised to search for talents within communities.

He appealed to the security services to use SESSA as a platform to strengthen the ties of friendship among them and to enhance public security cooperation.

Disciplines to be contested comprise soccer, tug of war, volleyball, basketball and handball.

The Chairman of the SESSA Games, Mr E.A. Atenga, the acting Chief Fire Officer, said the Services are happy that the games have been revived after a 12-year break.

The games were halted for the security personnel to prepare for the 1992 General Elections.

Defence Minister Kwame Addo Kuffour, Interior Minister Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, Minister of State of Education Youth and Sports, Rashid Bawa and a Deputy Minister of the Ministry, Mr Joe Aggrey attended the opening ceremony.

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