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Business News of Saturday, 9 March 2019

Source: Clifford Yaw Frimpong

Royal Senchi holds 3rd Independence Regatta to mark Ghana at 62

The Royal Senchi Hotel played host to the third edition of the annual Independence Regatta organized in observation of Ghana’s Independence Day celebration.

The sporting event was organized by the Hotel in collaboration with the Rowing and Canoeing Federation of Ghana on Wednesday, March 6 at Akosombo.

The Independence regatta was launched three years ago, as a social activity for the March 6 holiday as well as a window for discovery of athletes for the watersport.

The year’s event was graced by the overlord of the Akwamu Traditional Area, Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, with his Adentemhene, Nana Kwame Yeboah Afari. Also present at the event was Deputy Information Minister Hon. Pius Enam Hadzide.

Holidaymakers and enthusiasts of the sport gathered at the lakeshore resort at about 11 am on Wednesday to witness the intriguing sight of various canoe-racing competitions on the Volta Lake.

Four teams representing the Greater Accra, Central, Volta and Eastern regions of Ghana participated in a number of contests including a 200 and 500-metre canoe and kayak race as well as a marathon, which started from the Adomi Bridge to the hotel’s end of the Lake.

All the teams were presented with medals with the Eastern region team carrying the day as it won most of the races.

Athletes from the contest would be selected to represent Ghana at the African beach games in Cape Verde in June this year and also at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Odeneho Kwafo Akoto IIIpresenting prize to the winners

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the event, the head of sales and marketing of the Royal Senchi Hotel, Mr Emmanuel Mensah said the event was initiated to breathe new life into the sport of regatta, which he said, had not been given much attention in recent years.

According to him, boat racing was a sporting activity that prominently featured in the early days of Ghana’s Independence Day celebrations, as it was popular back in the day.

“This event is organised on Ghana’s Independence Day not only to bring back the nostalgia of yesteryears, but also to awaken interest in the watersport,” he noted.

Mr Mensah mentioned that the Independence Regatta was designed not only to entertain patrons on the national holiday, but also provide the youth with the opportunity to take up careers in the sports discipline.

Teams racing on the lake

Delivering a brief speech, Hon. Hadzide said the sport was symbolic of the way of life of the people in Ghana’s coastal regions, who exerted themselves in the struggle for the country’s independence.

He expressed his elation at the performance of the athletes, urging them to replicate the gusto at the international level to lift high the flag of Ghana.

“Watersports have become valuable across the globe, and I’m particularly elated that athletes from this contest would be selected to represent the country at international competitions,” he intimated.

President of the Rowing and Canoeing Federation of Ghana, Lawyer Stephen Asante Bekoe noted that there had been improvement in the year’s event compared to previous editions.

He said his outfit, with the support of the Royal Senchi Hotel had put in a lot of investment to hold aloft the sport. He added however that, much more was still needed to further push the game.

He called for government’s assistance toward promoting the sport and training athletes to win trophies for the nation.

Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III commended organisers of the event, saying it ought not be a once-a-year affair, explaining that regular events of such nature would help adequately prepare athletes for tougher competitions.