27.04.2005 Sports News

Special Schools' Sports Festival opens at Wa

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Wa, April 27, GNA - The National Sports Festival for Special Schools (Hearing impaired) opened at the Wa Secondary School on Tuesday. Twelve Schools for the Deaf across the country are participating in the five-day festival, which involves Athletics, Soccer and Volleyball. The Schools are the Jamasi, Bechem, Cape Coast, Koforidua, Adjei Kojo, Savelugu, Gbeogo, Hohoe, Sekondi, Wa, Kibi and Mampong.

Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, in a speech read for him advised the physically challenged not to see their condition as a barrier to the realization of their potentials in life. He said the nation owed it a duty to the physically challenged to provide them with opportunities and facilities that would help them develop into fully integrated members of the society.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said that everyone had a shortcoming but that could be overcome with perseverance and commitment, adding that, "For every dark cloud, there is a silver lining".

He recalled the exploits of the country's physically challenged athletes who won a number of medals during the "All Africa Games" at Abuja in Nigeria in 2003 and said with determination they could achieve a lot for themselves and the country.

The Minister said the government was totally committed to pursuing a policy that would safeguard the fundamental rights of all members of the society irrespective of the individual's physical or mental state. In the opening Football match, Wa School for the Deaf beat their counterparts from the Adjei Kojo School 3-2 on penalties after a goalless drawn during regulation time.

The officials of the festival said that each soccer match must produce a winner even at the group stage.

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