The Central Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur, on Thursday called on students to take active interest in sporting activities and to appreciate its importance to the socio-economic development of the nation.
He said sports does not only make people healthy but it is also a means of livelihood, stressing that sports is now a serious business in the culture of every nation and it is therefore imperative that the nation try to encourage and promote its development.
Nana Arthur said this when he opened the 17th annual Central Regional Athletics Championship at the Regional Schools and Colleges Park at Adisadel, Cape Coast.
The competition which is being organised as part of the golden jubilee anniversary of Ghana's independence has about 60 second cycle schools participating in pole vault, shot putt, high jump, discus, hurdles, javelin, 4x100, 400 meters, 4x400 and 1,500m among other events.
Nana Arthur said due to the important role sports play in the development of the nation, physical education had been accorded its rightful place on the school curriculum and sports and games are organised from the basic to the tertiary level to enable all to have equal opportunities to develop their talents.
"The exploits of Michael Essien, Margaret Simpson, Ignatius Gaisah, Vivian Mills and Aziz Ansah all started like you and are now making the country proud at the international level", he said.
The Regional Minister however reminded the students that good academic performance, good character and discipline were bedfellows and inseparable and, therefore, urged them to exhibit a high sense of discipline in the competition.