Offinso (Ash), Jan 10, GNA - Despite playing with nine players after two of their players were disqualified on being over-aged, the Adansi West District went ahead to beat Sekyere West District by two goals to one in the finals of the 11th Ashanti Regional Inter-Districts Under-12 soccer festival held at Offinso to emerge the Regional champions for three consecutive years.
Bismark Opoku of Sekyere West opened the scores in the 28th minute but Adansi West cancelled the lead six minutes later through Agyei Afrifa.
An own goal scored by Kwasi Feh of Sekyere West in the 50th minute helped Adansi West to clinch a deserving victory.
Asante-Akim North placed third followed by Ejura-Sekyedumase, Afigya-Sekyere, Atwima and Amansie West Districts while Kumasi Metropolitan, which was highly tipped as favourites to carry the trophy, placed 11th with Adansi East placing last at the 18th position. Mr Kofi Britwum, Ashanti Regional Director of Education, in a closing address said sports has been a unifying force that has contributed immensely to eliminate mistrust, suspicion, hatred and misunderstanding in various communities.
He said sports also has a common appeal for excellence that abhors tribalistic tendencies and replaces negative attitudes with love, peace, understanding and friendship.
Mr Britwum noted that the cardinal principles in sports are self-discipline and dedication which he said are virtues which propel the youth to higher excellence.
He said that it is to achieve this objective that the Ghana Education Service has adopted the "catch them young" philosophy so that the potentials of the youth can be tapped and harnessed at tender ages to partake in sports and other games.
Mr Britwum commended the participants for their high and encouraging performances, adding, "whether or not you achieved something worth mentioning, you should always bear in mind that what matters most in sports is not to win but to take part".
Mr Eddy Obeng-Darko, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of Basic Education Sports Federation, expressed regret that the teaching and practice of physical education is slowly dying out in the basic schools and implored sports organisers and district education directors to effectively promote the teaching of the subject.
Mr Obeng-Darko, who is also the Atwima District Director of Education said the festival has helped the participants to socialise with each other, share experiences across district boundaries and adequately explored their environment.
On behalf of the Federation, he expressed his gratitude to the host District Education Directorate, the District Assembly, participants, officials and the organisers for a successful festival. Asante-Akim South District was selected to host the 2006 festival. 10 Jan. 05