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13.09.2005 Sports News

First class gym for Ghanaian athletes "soon"

GNA

Accra, Sept. 13, GNA - Government is to build a first class gym in Accra to enhance the physical fitness of Ghanaian athletes as a sure way of boosting the country's chances of winning more medals at international meets.

Already, 500,000 dollars worth of equipment from the Japanese government has been lodged at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium for the project to kick-start.

Mr O. B. Amoah, a Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, who spoke on behalf of the Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo at the launch of this year's Ninth Security Services Sports Association (SESSA) Games, said the facility would be fixed at the Stadium.

He said plans are afoot to relocate the gym at a place closer to the Stadium if it is found out that construction works at the Ohene Djan Stadium towards the hosting of 2008 African Cup of Nation could affect the regular usage of the facility.

The Deputy Minister said government's policy of encouraging security services to give special dispensation to talented sports persons during recruitment has begun to show positive results. "Budding talents in our educational institutions who for various reasons cannot enter tertiary institutions have now found the security services as an ideal place to nurture their talents," he observed.

The Deputy Minister announced that outstanding sports persons in this year's games "should be part of their respective regional teams at the forthcoming National Sports Festival to make it more competitive." He urged the organisers to study the recommendations contained in the report on last year's games, especially with regards to problems associated with transportation, communication, sponsorship and financial discipline to improve on them.

The Ghana Immigration Service is the host of this year's game, which kick-starts from October 31 through to November 5 would feature five disciplines - athletics, basketball, volleyball, hockey and handball.

The Games, started in 1987 to foster unity among the various security services, took an 11-year break due to unexplicable reasons since 1992 and was only reintroduced in 2003.

The Ghana Armed Forces, which would be hosting the 10th edition, would be defending both the male and female soccer trophies, tennis (male), tug-of-war (male) and hockey (male) at this year's game, slated for the El Wak Stadium.

Mr Amoah later presented two balls each for soccer and basketball plus 100 million cedis on behalf of the Ministry, while Captain (rtd) Effah Dartey, Deputy Minister of the Interior doled out 20 million cedis from his Ministry.

The SESSA games has produced some high-profile sportsmen and women over the year's, including Azumah Nelson (Prison Service), Mike Ahey (Armed Forces), Mercy Addey and Cynthia Bortey (Fire Service) and Hanah Afriyie (Prisons Services).

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