Accra, June 10, GNA - The Ghana/Nigeria Friendship Games is to revived in April 2005 to help develop home base talents in the two respective countries.
Addressing the launching of the National Sports Festival in Accra on Thursday, Alhaji Rashid Bawa, Minister of State at the ministry of Education, Youth and Sports said the technical counterparts from Nigeria are expected any moment from now for discussions on the disciplines to be participated in during the games.
He said in order to ensure that the Friendship Games obtains it objectives of developing home-based talents, the two countries have agreed in advance that no foreign based athlete would be allowed to participate in the event.
The National Sports Festival which was abandoned for a number of years with the last events taken place seven years ago, is now scheduled to take place at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi from 20 to 27 June.
"The revival of the National Sports Festival after the long break is a welcoming news to the Sports Ministry and to all sports loving Ghanaians."
Honourable Bawa said sports remains an important driving force that would propel the development of the country's economy, which in turn would promote the image of the country on the international scene. The Minister said it is in the same direction that the government re-launched the Security Services (SESSA) Games last year after a ten-year break.
He said the National Sports Festival would offer national selectors of the various sport associations the opportunity to select a "dream team" to represent the country during this Friendship Games. The Minister urged all participants who would be participating in the Festival to put in their best to enable the country have a creditable team in the forthcoming Friendship Games.
Honourable Bawa advised the youth from all over the country who would get the opportunity to participate in the event to make friends with each other in accordance with the theme for this year's event, "Sports for Unity and Peace".
He said an important aspect of the National Sports Festival is the under-15 football competition which is to be used for recruitment of players into the various soccer academies scattered all over the country.
"All talents that will be on show at the festival are assets for the country and they in addition to other benefits likely to accrue from the organisation of the festival will make the Ministry to be enthused about its "sport revival initiative"