Accra, 20 July 2011: The Right to Dream Football Academy (RtD), in partnership with Vodafone Ghana, is dedicated to the identification and development of talented footballers in Africa. The Academy's quest for excellence was recently taken a notch higher, when the Ghanaian RtD U15 squad won the African Qualifiers of the Manchester United Premier Cup for the fourth year in a row, and were confirmed to be heading to the World Finals in August of this year.
The event was held at the EHQ Campus in Hilversum, Holland, where Ghana's RtD boys fought a heart-wrenching battle with Cameroon's Daga Young Boys, and eventually emerged the 1:0 winners of the qualifying match.
Ghana's RtD graduates are achieving many football accolades the world over. Abdul Majeed Waris who signed to Swedish team BK Hacken in 2010, became the Academy's first-ever graduate to represent a professional club in a European competition and quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the football pitch. Waris cemented his place in the affections of the club's supporters when he aided his team to a 5-1 victory over rival team Kaerjeng in the Europa League qualifiers, scoring a 42nd minute goal and receiving the “Man of the Match” award.
His colleagues, Bismark Kwarteng and Thomas Boakye also played key roles in helping UK-based, Hartpury College win the England Colleges National Football Final. The outstanding performance of Boakye merited him the “Man of the Match” award and further cemented the sterling reputation of RtD.
Carmen Bruce-Annan, Head of Corporate Communications at Vodafone, speaking on the achievements of the team thus far remarked that 'What our Ghanaian boys have achieved so far is remarkable and we assure Ghanaians that this is only just the beginning. Vodafone has delivered on its brand promise of empowering these boys to reach their full potential in terms of sports. Football has become an intrinsic part of the Ghanaian society with young boys eager to emulate some of the best Ghanaian players. Being able to support the promotion and development of the talent and skills of young boys who are so passionate about sports is very much in line with our empowerment initiatives and it is something we are very proud of. We are very happy with what the Right to Dream boys have achieved so far and we will continue to support them until they reach their maximum potential.'
The Right to Dream Football Academy nurtures the academic potential of the boys as well as their football talent, giving them a future beyond the football pitch. In America, RtD alumni, C Nortey and Atobra Ampadu graduated from The Hotchkiss School. Nortey took home six varsity letters, The Ellen Torrey Dance Prize and The Charles Denton Treadway '14 Memorial Prize.
The University of California, Santa Barbara also honoured Waid Ibrahim, of RtD, at their 2011 Award Ceremony. Ibrahim was the recipient of “The Gaucho Heart Award”. The prestigious honour is given yearly to the student-athlete that shows the greatest courage in the face of adversity; and was rightfully bestowed upon Ibrahim this year. In 2005, he underwent surgery to fix the right ventricle of his heart, after which he achieved all-conference honours at both his high school and junior college, Santa Barbara City College.
All the students and graduates of RtD have, and will always continue to inspire the passionate youth of our country. Their countless achievements will forever encourage all young and upcoming footballers to dare to follow their dreams.