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Sports Features of Thursday, 20 May 2021

Source: Michael Kofi Oduro

Artificial pitches providing answers to Ghana's sports infrastructure problems

Artifical pitches have been constructed in some parts of the country Artifical pitches have been constructed in some parts of the country

The new phenomenon, astro turf, continues to play a major role in the restoration of grassroots and community football. Many communities have been beneficiaries of the One Constituency, One Astro Turf Project launched by the government and executed Wembley Sports Construction Company Limited (WSCCL), yet there are many that have also been left out in the provision of the modern infrastructure.

This has led to a high demand from mainly the youth and opinion leaders of communities yet to have a fair share of the infrastructural development drive as Wembley Sports confirms construction of 10 new pitches.

One area the Nana Akuffo Addo government is applauded and believed to have made great impact is the provision of the astro turf facilities. The change is evident and the impact is significant in the beneficiary constituencies.

Over the four year period, more than 30 facilities were constructed in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Ashanti, North East and the Western Regions. Regions like Central, the three Bono Regions and the rest of the Northern Regions are yet to have their share of the social impact project.

What is inspiring is that, it's work in progress and there’s the hope of the project extending to other areas in the Country. There are 10 more projects under construction by the industry leaders Wembley Sports Construction Company Limited and expected to be completed in 2021.

The sites include Tema Mexico Park, GPHA Mantse Park-Tema New Town, Alajo, Adjiringanor and Teshie all in the Greater Accra Region. There’s Bantama Cocoase Park, Bantama Lebanon and Dichemso in the Ashanti Region. There are two projects in the Central Region Diaso and Denkyira Dominase. Under construction in the Eastern Region is the Ofoase Ayirebi Park.

It is clear that government cannot continue to shoulder this development drive all alone and the future of this project falls in the hands of state agencies, Corporate Ghana and individuals with the financial muscle and desire to contribute to societal development.

Companies and agencies like Ghana Gas, Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC), Coastal Development Authority (CODA) and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) have shown the way by funding many of the projects under construction and others are expected to emulate.

What has even given credence to the calls for the construction of more of the synthetic pitches is the resumption of the National Juvenile Leagues (Colts) by the Ghana Football Association. The league which started on 8th May is organized and played at the District Football Associations level who have adopted the astro turf facilities as the game centres for hosting of matches.

Districts that do not have continue to play on the bare surfaces and therefore intensifying the need and the urgency that must be attached to the provision of these ultra-modern edifices in all constituencies or districts.

Administrators, opinion leaders and the youth fancy the astro turf facilities built by Wembley Sports not only because the company is the only FIFA certified synthetic pith installer in West Africa but also because of the low cost of maintenance. The project also comes with flood lights making it possible for night football and the dressing rooms do not only add to the professionalism but also give players and officials the comfort they desire.

Much is expected of that government and cannot relent in its effort to provide the infrastructure for the communities that have not benefitted but the corporate sector must not also forget that the most desirable corporate social responsibility in communities where they operate, is the the Astro Turf. They therefore have the responsibilty to complement the efforts of government as we build an enabling grounds for the development for young talents.