Accra, Aug 4, GNA - The Ghana Hockey Federations (GHF) on Thursday presented 1000 hockey sticks and balls each worth 12,000 Euros to 21 selected Senior Secondary Schools and Institutions throughout the country.
The donation, which was a sequel to a similar presentation last year, forms part of the hockey federation's plan to develop talented players from the from the grassroots to take up from the present generation of players.
Mr. Oko Nii Koi Djani, Chairman of the GHF said the sticks and balls were acquired Federation (IFH) annual development grant given to the respective federations affiliated to it annually. He said Ghana has received on two consecutive occasions the IFH grant because of proposals sent to them by the GHF, which dwelled mainly on the development of the sport from the grassroots.
Mr. Djani said their focus is on the youth because it appears there is no chain that ensured regular supply of talents like the olden days when the game was very vibrant at the school level ensuring steady flow of talents.
He thanked the President of the African Hockey Federation who was instrumental in ensuring that the Ghanaian proposal was accepted. Mr. Djani said for hockey to be considered a minor sport in the country is one of the reasons why the game is sinking. He said such mentality has caused proposals from them to be over-looked in favour of others and this has erased most of the gains made by the association.
"We use to be among the best hockey nations on the continent but the shift to Astroturf internationally, whilst we still remained on the natural turf set us back years.
"Our plan now is to spread the sport nationwide and build preferably, another astro turf possibly water based to ensured that talents from the regions do have what it takes to compete with the very best from any part of the world."
Mr. Djani said though selection of the schools to receive the presentation was difficult, all chosen schools have demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that they have development of the game at heart.
He asked all schools interested in benefiting from similar presentation to demonstrate the commitment and passion for the game and the association would not hesitate in coming to their aid.
Dr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, Director of the Technical Division at the Ministry of Education and Sports, who deputised for the sector Minister, commended the hockey federation for taking their developmental policy nationwide as every region is having its share of the presentation. He also commended them for increasing the number of schools, who benefited from the donation last year from 15 to 21 this year.
Dr. Owusu-Ansah tasked the selected schools to put the sticks, which cost almost a million cedis on the open market to good use to ensure that the country wins gold at the next all African Games. Each of the two selected secondary schools from the 10 regions took home 18 hockey sticks and balls.
Some of the selected schools are Adisadel College, Accra High School, Fijai Secondary School, Nifa Secondary School and Bolga Girls.