About 5,000 school sports centres and 16 sports complexes will be constructed in schools in every constituency and across the 10 regions of the country beginning June this year.
The primary objective of the initiative, which is being undertaken in collaboration with the National Sports Authority (NSA) and the Ghana Education Service (GES), is to create employment opportunities through sports and to prevent communicable diseases, particularly among the youth.
Coach Joseph DeGraft, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sports Leisure Entertainment Media Communications (SLEMCO) Company Limited, in a presentation in Accra to throw light on the projects, said employment opportunities would be created for as many as 100,000 unemployed people between the ages of 18 and 35 years within the first two years, as well as employ 50,000 more people per year after completion.
“Attached to the school sports centres and the sports complex which will give priority to 14 sporting disciplines, will be the availability of 500 artificial grass pitches which will be equipped with WiFi and floodlights,” noted Coach De Graft, who added that there would be additional coaching clinics for schoolchildren upon completion of the projects.
The main vision behind the estimated $400 million initiative, aside from improving on sports infrastructure throughout the country, is to do away with 50 per cent of diseases like stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and impotence within 10 years after completion among as many school age pupils as possible.
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Dubbed Sports, Health and Lifestyle Improvement Project (SHAIP), the multipurpose sports infrastructure projects, which has the backing of multinational organisations as Endless Life Investment, Alternative Energy for Africa, National Investment Bank (NIB), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), among other partners, is expected to generate income from its activities in the first five years.