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Sports News of Thursday, 10 July 2014

Source: Graphic Online

‘Allow girls to participate in sports’

The participation of Girls in sporting activities such as soccer are seen as a taboo in some communities in the Northern Region.

This is rooted in religious and cultural beliefs, as well as perceived roles for males and females.

To this end, parents have been urged to discard these beliefs and notions which include that when they allow their girl-child to actively participate in sports, they will not be able to give birth.

This negative perception is said to widen the gender gap between females and males in most societies leading to perpetuating poverty among women and girls.

The Advice

The Tolon District Sports Coordinator, Madam Adam Ayeshetu, who gave the advice encouraged parents not to keep their girl-child in the house only for household chores, but to allow them to take part in sporting activities and added that girls could achieve higher heights in sports and represent their community and nation when given the opportunity to participate in sports as their male counterparts.

She added that girls had equal rights as boys in sports and, therefore, they needed to be encouraged and supported.

Presentation

Madam Ayeshetu said that when the Right To Play, an international non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the Randolph-Macon College and the Davis Foundation both in the United States of America (USA), presented football kits valued at GH¢7,500 to two under-17 girls’ team at Gbullahagu, a farming community in the Tolon District in the Northern Region, under their Davis Peace Project.

Beneficiary

The beneficiary teams are the Gbullahagu AME Zion basic School girls football team and the Kpatuli community girls football team in the Savelugu Municipality. The items presented included footballs, jerseys, training bibs, football boots, hose, shin guards and sports bra.

As part of activities to sustain the project, the two teams and their communities were presented with a cash of GH¢1,000 each to cultivate soya beans to generate income to support the girls with their basic school needs and to maintain their team needs as well.

Madam Ayeshetu, on behalf of the two teams and their communities, expressed her gratitude to Right To Play Ghana, and their international collaborators for the gesture and stated that it would go a long way to enhance the footballing skills of the girls and enable them to achieve their future dreams of playing for the various women's national teams.

The Project

The Project Officer of Right To Play, Mr Kakra Ankobiah, for his part, said his organisation, as part of its aims was to use the transformation power of play and sports to empower young girls in rural and deprived communities and to promote peace.

He expressed the hope that the items would be used for the purpose it was donated to enhance the sporting skills of the girls and to the benefit of their communities and the nation at large.

A representative from Randalph-Macon College and Davis Project for Peace, Ms Sarah Nebury, stressed the importance of soccer to the peace and development of every community, adding that football had been able to bring people who were in conflict together and promoted peace.

She said her college and the Davis foundation decided to partner Right To Play to use football to empower girls to realise their dreams and promote peace in deprived and conflict-prone communities in the Northern Region.

The Project Field Officer, Mr Samuel Oppong Kwabiah, for his part, said the project, aside helping to impart footballing skills to the young girls, had also empowered them with the knowledge on how to correctly use sanitary pads during their menstrual period which helped them to feel comfortable in playing football and also comfortable to come to school during that time of menstrual period.

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