Sunyani (B/A) Aug. 30, GNA - The Ministry of Education and Sports in conjunction with corporate bodies and associations including the Ghana Athletics Association have set up an endowment fund to develop sports in schools.
Under the package, athletics for instance would receive an initial annual funding of 200 million cedis as scholarships for outstanding athletes.
Mr. Osei Bonsu Amoah, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education and Sports announced this on Monday at the opening of the 24th edition of inter-Regional Schools and Colleges sports festival in Sunyani. A total of 1,760 students, made up of 900 boys and 860 girls are participating in the eight-day competition, which will embrace soccer, basketball, hockey, handball, table tennis, cross-country and athletics.
Mr. Amoah said the nation was obliged to invest in sports festivals and sports in schools, "because research has shown that well- crafted sports activities teach respect, honesty, cooperation, empathy and adherence to game rules".
The Deputy Minister said the Ministry had adopted the slogan, 'Sports For Life' in pursuit of a sports development and peace strategy to promote education, health and increased productivity in the country. Mr Amoah commended the competitors for their massive turn-out and advised them to keep away from drugs, avoid irresponsible sexual behaviour, acts of indiscipline and hooliganism and unfair practices during the festival.
Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister noted with regret that Ghana could no longer boast of the sports disciplines she excelled in at international competitions and attributed the down-ward trend to neglect, mal-administration and lack of appropriate facilities. "There is therefore the need for a massive re-organisation to reverse this state of affairs", Nana Seinti said. Nana Seinti stated that the Schools and Colleges Sports Festivals could play a major role in the country's sports re-organisation exercise.
The Regional Minister urged the Ministry of Education and Sports to pay special attention to the training of experts in physical education in tertiary institutions to teach the various sports disciplines in basic and second cycle schools.
He urged Metropolitan, Municipal a nd District Assemblies to invest part of their share of the District Assembly Common Fund in the construction of sporting facilities to encourage the youth to develop interest in sports. "School authorities should also take measures to provide schools with playing fields and equipment and to ensure that sports features prominently in extra curricula activities", Nana Seinti added. In the opening soccer match, Brong-Ahafo Region suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat at the hands of their Ashanti Regional counterparts.
Earlier on Monday morning, Eastern Region beat Upper East Region 1-0. In the girls' soccer event, Ashanti Region thrashed Northern Region 8-0 in their encounter. 30 Aug. 05