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11.07.2005 Sports News

Armed Forces Inter-Services Sports Festival opens

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Accra, July 11, GNA - The Air Vice Marshal, Julius O. Boateng has said that sports development would continue to form an integral part of the military since it forms part of an indispensable tool for the development of the physical and mental faculties of the officers and men of the Command.

He said apart from sports enhancing discipline and espirit-de-corps of the officers and men, it is a source of entertainment, relaxation and recreation that would go a long way in relieving the monotony of the hectic military schedules.

Air Vice Marshal Boateng said this when he officially opened a 10-day Inter-Services Sports Festival of the Ghana Armed Forces under the Theme: "Towards Revamping National Sports" at the El-Wak Sports stadium in Accra on Monday.

The participating teams, made up of the Army, Navy and the Air Force are to compete in Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, Tennis, Hockey, Athletics, Table Tennis, Tug-of-War and Cross Country. Air Vice Marshal Boateng who was the Guest of Honour, said the objectives of the Festival, which is three fold, is firstly to improve on the physical, mental and alertness, discipline and espirit-de-corps, relieve the monotony of the hectic military schedules such as exercises, international operations and barracks life and also with the ultimate goal of unearthing talents in the various disciplines for the nation. He said that, "the Command is not unaware of the complexity of circumstances that have contributed to diminish our fortunes in sports and is determined to reverse the downward trend and as such no stone would be left unturned in our quest to regain our lost glory in sports". The Air Vice Marshal therefore called on the participants to consider this year's Sports Festival that encompasses the 10 traditional sporting disciplines as a grand design towards the rejuvenation of sports in the Armed Forces and that it is the believe of the Command that it would be a catalyst for revamping the dwindling sporting talents.

He recalled that not very long ago, the Armed Forces used to be one of the bastions of sports in the country and that one recalls with pride the accomplished sports personalities in the Army such as Mike Ahey, Joe Ghatey, Moro Tijani, and Mike Adjavon among others who made Ghana proud.

Air Vice Marshal Boateng cautioned the participants that the Command would not countenance any acts of indiscipline such as the use of enhancing drugs and hooliganism that have of late plagued sports even on the international level.

He said it is the policy of the Command to recognise and reward outstanding sportsmen and women and implored them to put in extra effort to improve on their previous high standards and to exhibit good sportsmanship.

In the Cross Country race of 12 kilometres run by 36 participants including female, Lance Corporal Moro Salifu of the Army came first followed closely by Ordinary Seaman John Bessah of the Navy and V. Aghiabor of the Air Force placing third. The Army Women's team on two attempts pulled their counterparts from the Air Force in the opening Tug-of War event. 11 July 05

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