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26.02.2003 Sports News

Dutch Family Donates to Street Academy

By Accra Mail
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The Sports and Cultural Academy for Street Children on Tuesday received hockey sticks and balls valued at 300 euros from a Dutch family for use by its hockey team.

The items, including 40 hockey sticks and twelve balls were presented by Mr Martin Schofeld, a former Dutch hockey player.

Mr Schofeld said he was approached by his daughter, Maria who is on attachment at the academy to help the children with hockey equipment.

"Being a former hockey player myself, I contacted some members of the hockey fraternity in Holland who immediately agreed to help."

He said sports is a very important unifying agent for people of diverse backgrounds.

Mr Schofeld expressed the hope that the donation would spark a revival in youth hockey in Ghana and would see the country rubbing shoulders with the big hockey nations in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Mr Joe Aggrey, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports received the items and said he has been touched by the benevolence of the Schofeld family. He said the gesture needed to be appreciated because he is aware of the problems that national teams go through before acquiring good quality equipment like what had been donated.

Mr Joe Aggrey, also a patron of the academy, was full of praise for the enthusiasm of Ataa Lartey, Director of the Academy in helping to take children off the street.

Ataa Lartey later told GNA Sports that the Academy currently has 442 children with 350 having formal education outside while 92 are based at the academy.

He said children brought into the academy stay for at least two years after which they are given formal education based on their interest.

"Currently we have students at various levels of the educational ladder including the Universities."

Ataa Lartey said the children, as means of recreation, partake in many sports disciplines including football, table tennis, hockey, baseball and volley ball.

"Our female team has been registered to partake in the coming Greater Accra Women's League while the hockey team just competed their maiden participation in the Greater Accra Hockey League and came last."

He said the hockey team's position was due to the lack of basic equipment; "but with this donation the boys would be inspired for a better performance next year".

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