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05.07.2005 Sports News

Make Sports College economically viable - Osafo-Maafo

GNA

Winneba, July 5, GNA - Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports on Tuesday urged the management of the Winneba Sports College to be innovative and look for other avenues of raising money to rehabilitate the College and turn it into an economically viable institution.

He said it was possible for the College to go for loan at the banks and turn the place into a two-star hotel, and with its sporting facilities, the college could become the desire destination of many people.

"The College is at a good location, it's a university town, it's a tourist town and once the facilities are face-lifted, it would be able to recoup its investment in no time and start to make profit," the Minister said.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo led a four-man delegation to pay a surprise visit to the national under-17 soccer team, the Black Starlets, and to inspect facilities at the College.

The team included, his deputy Minister Mr O. B. Amoah, Dr Owusu Ansah, a Director at the Ministry and Mr Richard Quashie, Acting Chairman of the Starlet Management Committee.

The Minister was led round by Mr. Domic Asabia, Acting Director of the College, who later briefed him on the problems facing the institution including a competent managerial staff to help run the place.

The team inspected the hostel facilities, the canteen, the first-class tennis courts, an uncompleted hockey pitch and two football arenas, one yet to be completed.

The consultants, AESL said the College would need not less than 250 million cedis to bring the uncompleted football arena to an appreciable level.

Mr Osafo-Maafo told a workers' durbar he was disappointed at the deteriorated facilities and urged them not to undermine the system but collectively help improve the place.

"I have visited sports Colleges in Morocco, Tunisia and Abidjan and this is about the worse," the Minister said.

He presented a bus valued at 550 million cedis purchased from the HIPC funds to the College, which is to facilitate camping of the national teams and the Academy.

The College is currently housing 76 players made of the Starlets and both the soccer and tennis academies.

Mr Osafo-Maafo expressed the hope that the Starlets would rediscover their scintillating form to become world champions again. He said government was ready to meet all their needs to make life more comfortable to them before the World Under-17 Championship slated for Peru in September.

The Minister reminded the team that the only way to get to the top was through dedication, discipline and serious training. He said sports in general and soccer in particular was a uniting force adding that each time the national soccer team won the whole nation was in a jubilant mood.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo pleaded with the boys and their technical handlers not to disappoint the nation. 05 July 05

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