23.03.2004 Sports News

Volta Region Inter-Zonal Sports Festival opens

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Kpando, Mar. 23, GNA - The 31st Volta Region Inter-Zones Schools and Colleges Sports Festival opened at Kpando on Monday with a call for a halt to the perennial acts of hooliganism and open disrespect of authority that had befallen sports festivals.

Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa, Volta Regional Minister who officially opened the festival said quarrels, fights, dishonesty and open defiance of authority and many other forms of insubordination at sports festivals were at variance with the opportunities offered by sports which is to foster unity, trust and social cohesion amongst people.

He, therefore, urged the participants, grouped into six zones and the spectators to desist from such anti-social acts during the week long festival.

The zones are made up of Upper-North North, North, Lower- North, Central, Mid-South and South who are to compete in soccer, volleyball, handball, basketball, table tennis, athletics and cross-country. The Regional Minister said participation in sports and physical exercise as a source of relaxation and recreation could serve as antidote for worry, tension, fear and stress at a time that "life patterns and increasing dependence on labour saving devices has contributed to weak physique and insufficient strength".

A strong windstorm from the east disrupted the opening ceremony after the participating teams had lined up for a march past forcing dignitaries to scuttle into classrooms, the Staff Common Room and vehicles.

The opening ceremony was therefore delayed for about an hour after the storm had ripped off the erected canopies and disrupted the public address system.

Mr Pious Adanuti, Kpando District Chief Executive (DCE) in a welcome address said the District Assembly would support sports development with the provision of equipment and special packages for those who distinguish themselves.

In the opening soccer match, North Zone beat Lower-North zone 5-4 on penalties.

During recess, Eunice Goden of South Zone did a splendid run, maintaining an early lead in the girls 1,500 metres to set a new games record of five minutes 21.06 seconds to beat the old record of five minutes 46. 2 seconds set in 1987 by Beauty Avako of Central zone. Paul Amaglo of Upper-North zone also won the boys 1,500 metres easily in a time of four minutes 19.16 seconds.

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