Cape Coast Jan. 23 GNA - The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, on Thursday called on university authorities to use sporting activities to create healthy environment that can lead to the unearthing and development of talents in the field of sports.
He suggested the establishment of multi-sports infrastructure in line with international standards within the universities as happens in developed countries to help in the promotion of sports in the country. Alhaji Mahama made the call in a speech read for him at the opening of the 18th Ghana Universities Sports Association (GUSA) games at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), under the theme, " Discipline, HIV/AIDS and the benefits of sports".
The 10 days event would include activities like hockey, soccer, table tennis, athletics, volleyball and badminton and is being competed for by the university of Cape Coast, University of Ghana (UGL) Legon, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST) University for Development Studies (UDS) and the University of Education, Winneba.
The Vice President said it was gratifying that a high level of understanding was already emerging in the Universities that sports constituted cooperative enterprise and therefore urged the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the University authorities and GUSA to meet and discuss the entire issue of funding sports in the universities.
Touching on the theme, he said the government has achieved modest gains in the fight against indiscipline in the society and stressed that there, however, still remains a lot to be achieved in this direction.
Alhaji Mahama pointed out that the games was the best forum to speak again about the issue of greater indiscipline in the society, since it brings together students from institutions of higher learning who are being groomed as the future leaders.
He reminded them that HIV/ADIS still does not have a known cure and therefore warned them not to get carried away by events and engage in unfortunate behaviour, which would expose them to the disease. Alhaji Mahama advised them to use the occasion to cultivate friendship among themselves and engage in healthy competition devoid of unhealthy rivalry and from engaging in behaviours that might have the potential of ruining their future.
Professor Kobina Yankson, Pro-Vice Chancellor of UCC said the university recognized the importance of sports in achieving academic excellence and has therefore embarked upon the rehabilitation of sports facilities and the introduction of courses that would enable active sportsmen and women to earn academic laurels.
He commended the organisers of the games, particularly the students' body for contributing towards the purchase of a civilian bus for the promotion of sporting activities in the university.
In the opening games, Ms Fati Larley of UCC came first in the women's 1500 metres event with a time of five minutes 18.3 seconds, whiles Ms Iris Tay of KNUST and Phyllis Brantie of UGL came second and third in a time of five minutes 18.5 seconds and five minutes 29.4 seconds respectively.
In the men's division, Mr Prosper Agage of KNUST came first in a time of four minutes 18.9 seconds, whilst Ken Kambligi of UCC and Zakariah Issifu of UGL took the second and third positions in four minutes, 23.6 seconds and four minutes, 24.5 seconds respectively.