Bolgatanga, July 13, GNA - The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Mahami Salifu, on Monday called on pupils and students to make effective use of their sporting talents in their youthful times. He said in a contemporary competitive environment, people with such talents have an added advantage over their colleagues who have no sporting talents at all.
Mr. Paul Allou, the Minister's Special Assistant said this on his behalf during the opening of a five-day Inter-Districts Basic School sports competition at Bolgatanga.
Mr Salifu told the pupils that during recruitment into the army and other security agencies as well as state institutions, preference is often given to sportsmen and women who have the requisite qualification in addition to their sporting vocation, and urged them not to relent in their effort to achieve laurels for the various districts they represent.
He said government is resolute on ensuring the revival of the various sporting disciplines as a measure in putting back the country on the World of sports, adding that plans are advanced to improve upon sports related infrastructure nationwide.
Mr. Salifu said as part of the revival process, incentive packages have been made available for sportsmen and their women counterparts who prove their worth in national, continental and international sporting competitions.
He added that the recent office premises dedicated to retired footballers and other sports personalities by the President, J.A. Kufuor, is part of the process.
Mr. Salifu advised the pupils against the use of drugs to enhance their performance, and said the consequences of such acts are not only a disgrace to the individual, but the entire team and the nation. The Minister urged the pupils to abstain from pre-marital sex to avoid teenage pregnancy and contracting HIV/AIDS adding that HIV/AIDS was real and that they could jeopardise their life and education if they fell victim to the disease.
He further urged them to show compassion to people living with the disease in their communities and elsewhere.
The new Bolgatanga Municipal Director of Education, Mr. Anthony Aziaba, who chaired the opening ceremony, urged the participants to show commitment and work hard to justify their inclusion into the regional team to participate in the National Festival to be hosted by the Region later this year.
He appealed for financial support from District Assemblies, sports enthusiasts and stakeholders to enhance sports and to promote cooperation and unity among sports lovers in the region. The sporting disciplines to be competed for include soccer, volleyball, athletics and cross country marathon race.