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Sports News of Friday, 8 May 2015

Source: George Osei

Government support for Sport for Development not enough – Dr. Bitigu

Director of sport at the University of Ghana Dr. Bella Bello Bitigu has called for more government backing in the area of Sport for Development as that is a surest way to tackle the many social and health ills that Ghana is engulfed with.
He said, government must aid local organizations engaged in Sports for Development to design local strategies based on home grown issues that would fall in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s)
Dr. Bitigu said these in Accra on Wednesday at the launch of 2015 health outreach programme by Alive and Kicking a local enterprise that manufacturers sports balls (football, netball, volleyball and rugby balls) using local raw materials.
He added, “The Ministry of Youth and Sports must partner local NGOs to design strategies that would use Sport for Development to address health and social issues affecting Ghanaians”.
“Play and sport based methods would yield positive results in this area”, he stated, stressing further that “sport is more than scoring a goal, jumping highest, finishing first or winning medals.
Dr. Bitigu called on government to get involved in programmes of this nature as opportunities abound to develop the nation even further.
“If countries like Rwanda, Liberia, Mali, Kenya, Seychelles, Mauritius etc have been able to achieve a lot using Sport for Development, then Ghana has enough manpower to better those standards’, he charged.
Minister of Youth and Sports (MoYS), Dr. Mustapha Ahmed accepted the challenge and promised that his outfit would be ready to partner Alive and Kicking Ghana and other organizations involved in Sports for Development to achieve the stated aim.
“In the past, there have been no correlation between the MoYS and organizations involved in Sport for Development and this is an area I am determined to change”.
The health outreach programme BEING ORGANIZED BY Alive and Kicking Ghana in partnership with ICAP, UK –PLC will be on HIV/AIDS and malaria, and would be held in three districts in the Greater Accra region namely; Korley Klottey, La Dade Kotopon and Ledzokuku-Krowor.
This specially designed football tournament will use the concept of Sports for Development, combining football drills with health education on HIV/AIDS and malaria.
The tournament will be held in the three Greater Accra districts between June 23-26 with the 48 schools expected to participate, receiving footballs with HIV/AIDS and malaria messages inscribed on them.
At the end of the event, awards would be handed out to winners with all 48 sports/physical education teachers and 15 children from each of the participating schools completing a questionnaire before and after the programme to determine its impact.
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