Bolgatanga, Sept. 8, GNA - The 26th edition of the Basic Schools Inter-Regional Sports Festival was officially opened by the Minister of State in charge of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Rashid Bawa with a call on sports organisers to use the occasion of tapping and developing the potentials of the youth to show interest in sports.
"As sports organisers I challenge you to keenly monitor these lads and continue to train them to realise their aspirations for national assignments."
Alhaji Bawa said physical education and sports in the educational system and the wider society has been clearly endorsed by Government and it was receiving the needed commitment with the provision funds for its development.
He mentioned the revival of the SESSA games of the security agencies that had been put on hold for about 12 years. The Minister said sports plays a significant role in uniting modern societies, adding that whereas nations showed their strength at wars and battles, sports is used to determine the strength of nations in a civilised world.
Alhaji Bawah said Sports is therefore expected to bring together people of diverse backgrounds to interact and exchange ideas. "It is my expectation that by the close of the competition, each of you would get a pen-pal from a different region to serve as a bases for long-term friendship," he added.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Mahami Salifu, in a welcome address called on the participating Regions to exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and discipline in the course of the festival and to extend to one another the spirit of fellow feeling.
All the 10 Regions are participating in the festival and would contest in the boys and girls, soccer, athletics, table tennis, netball, volleyball and cross-country.
In an opening soccer match, the host region beat Eastern Region 6-5 on penalties after they had drawn 2-2 at full time.
In the women's 1,500 metres, Miss Winifred Adoko representing the Central Region came first with 4.41 seconds, Miss Kpeglo Christiana from the Volta Region was second with a time of 4.44 seconds while Miss Linda Tiwol, representing the Upper East Region took the third position with 4.50 seconds.
In the boys 1,500 event, Master Godwin Adukpu from the Volta Region clocked 4.10 metres to take the first place followed by Master Williams Akula from the Northern Region in a time of 4.12 seconds, while Xorla Havor, representing the Greater Accra Region came third in 4.12.7 seconds.