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27.12.2004 Tennis

Minister takes GTA to task over Winneba tennis courts

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Winneba, (C/R) Dec 27, GNA - Mr Joe Aggery, a deputy minister of Education, Youth and Sports has tasked the Ghana Tennis Association (GTA) to ensure that the Winneba Sports College Tennis facility is adopted by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) as a training centre for West and Central Africa as soon as possible.

The deputy minister's challenge followed a revelation by Mr Dominique Asabia, the acting director of the Winneba Sports College when he conducted Mr Aggrey round the courts that the ITF had indicated its desire to adopt the Winneba facility as one of its sponsored training centres if the GTA would spearhead programmes to warrant it.

Mr Joe Aggrey said it would be in the interest of the country if the GTA facilitated the adoption of the centre by the ITF, as it would guarantee sustainable maintenance and development of the Centre without any extra cost to the Ghana government.

He said if the Centre became an ITF training centre Ghanaians would benefit immensely from it, leading to the generation of greater interest in the sport and a rapid development of the players.

The deputy minister urged GTA to meet the demands of the ITF in the shortest possible time before any competitors emerged to deny Ghana the chance of becoming an ITF training centre

Mr Asabia had told Mr Joe Aggrey that one of the conditions given by the ITF was that GTA should organise a number of training courses to justify its adoption, as a training centre.

The acting director said the Winneba facility was the best in West and Central Africa and ranked second only to a similar centre in South Africa on the continent.

"With a cluster of eight courts at one place, in addition to a hostel facility which prevents trainees and competitors from commuting from one place to another, we have one of the best tennis centres and that has generated interest from the ITF," Mr Asabia said. Meanwhile, work on a multi purpose field has reached an advanced stage with the completion of levelling and gravelling of the site. Conducting Mr Joe Aggrey round the field, Mr Asabia said all that was left was planting of grass and marking of an athletic oval that would consist of eight tracks to make the field a multi purpose one. He said when completed the field would ease pressure on the only field available at the Sports College which has become the venue for the local University of Education and numerous schools and clubs which encroach on it.

The acting director assured the minister that the College would improve upon its facilities to make it attractive to the national teams to camp there, adding that Gambia had made a request for her Under 17 soccer team to camp at the College.

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