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07.08.2005 Sports News

Allocate percentage of Common Fund to sports development

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Accra, Aug. 7, GNA - Mr. Larry George Botchway, Executive Director of Gibbons Sports Foundation, a sport NGO has appealed to sports authorities to advice District Assemblies to allocate a specific percentage of the Common Fund to promote and develop sports in their districts.

He said it was sad that no deliberate policy has been put in place by the various districts to assist clubs and sporting groups in their arena to develop.

Mr. Botchway said government efforts at alleviating poverty would be fruitless unless the various heads of the districts were instructed to assist and use sports as a conduit of poverty alleviation and as a sure way of reducing crime and other social vices among the youth. He told the GNA Sports at his Winneba base after he heard with shock the Ewutu-Efutu Senya DCE's claim that sports could not benefit from the common fund.

The Executive Director said if the fund could be use in promoting education, then he found it strange that sports could not benefit from it since both (education and Sports) belong to the same ministry. He called on the Minister of Education and Sports, Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo and Parliament to ensure that sports benefited from the fund.

Gibbons Foundation have been liaising with its foreign partners over the last five years in providing sports equipments to sporting groups, teams and clubs in the Ewutu-Effutu Senya District, particularly Winneba to keep the youth off the street and to harness their talents to become super stars.

The Foundation has been focusing on lesser-known sports, including volleyball, tennis, handball, hockey and basketball. Mr. Botchway said it was important that his efforts were complemented by the DCE to keep the youth busy and help develop their talents.

He would embark on a European tour next month as part of efforts to attract investment to the country's sports industry. The Executive Director said the tour is to secure the necessary support to the lesser-known sports and to augment government efforts in sports promotion.

After the tour, Gibbons would organise training programmes in management skills and coaching for various sporting groups and donate equipment to such groups.

Mr. Botchway, who has been in touch with various Ghanaian Unions abroad to help develop the lesser-known sports is also a partner of two international sports organisations - Warm-up International and Sports Reach Incorporated in implementing their pilot projects in Ghana. Gibbons, which celebrates five years in existence in November, this year, is calling for a concerted effort at catapulting the lesser-known sports into the limelight, adding that they are potential medal hopeful to the nation in future competitions. 07 Aug. 05