Prof John Evans Atta Mills
Prof John Evans Atta Mills

Gov't urged to develop sports facilities in schools and colleges 

A FORMER Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr Kwame Saarah-Mensah, has urged the government to invest heavily in the development of sports facilities in schools and colleges.

He said currently schools and colleges lacked sports facilities and equipment which were needed to nurture or develop young talented sports men and women in schools.

"Most schools lack sports facilities to an extent that recently one of the prestigious schools which used to excel in schools and colleges sports had to abandon a match because the school team did not have eleven sticks for the team", he stated, explaining that he would not mention the name of the school.

Dr Saarah-Mensah, who was a Chairman of the Governing Council at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, was speaking at the Bono, Bono East, Ahafo and Western North regional version of the Professor John Evans Atta Mills Commemorative Lecture in Sunyani in the Bono Region last Saturday on the topic "JEA Mills and Sport".

The commiserative lecture, which brought together hundreds of people was organised on the theme: "The man John Evans Atta Mills-Ten Years on".

Dr Saarah-Mensah encouraged the government to prioritise the development of sports facilities and provide equipment to schools in order to create opportunity for pupils and students to participate in Inter Schools and Colleges Sports competitions.

He also urged the ministry to reintroduce District, Regional and National Sports Festivals in schools to offer the youth the opportunity to excel.

Dr Saarah-Mensah said during the era of former President Dr Kwame Nkrumah, a lot was invested in schools and colleges sports.

He said sportsmen and women such as Owusu Mensah (Osagyefo's Golden Boy), Sam Bugri, Stan Allotey and Joshua Owusu (Commonwealth Gold medallists), Alice Anum, Hanna Afriyie (athletics), Frank Odoi and Sam Acquah (football), among others, were unearthed and represented the nation.

Dr Saarah-Mensah said sports if well promoted could be a foreign exchange earner for the nation and urged the government to make every effort to attain those levels.

He said the former president had left many legacies in the sports industry and urged the sports administrators to study and pursue them to help sustain and develop the sports industry in the country.

"Prof. Mills did his best in the promotion and development of sports in the country", Dr Saarah-Mensah stated, explaining that the development of sports facilities was so dear to his heart to the extent that he ensured the reconstruction of the National Hockey pitch to meet international standards.

He said Prof Mills contributed immensely in ensuring good sports management that propelled Ghana to attain greater heights in international competitions.

Dr Saarah-Mensah said Prof. Mills believed that sports development should be seen as a business, a departure from the past when sportsmen and women participated in sports merely for the love of it, highlighting his point with a period when Ghanaian football icon, Osei Kofi, opted to play for Kotoko and declined an offer of 30,000 pounds to play for Stoke City of Britain.

He said contracts for professional footballers were now in millions of dollars, and with the potentials they had, if harnessed properly, the nation could reap a lot of money.

Dr Saarah-Mensah said marketing of sportsmen and women should be done professionally, where contracts should be negotiated by a team of experts so that at the end of the day a percentage of the contract could go into the provision of first-class facilities for sports development.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |