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Soccer News of Thursday, 29 July 2010

Source: Gideon Asare Sackitey

Vodafone and Right to Dream Academy Begin Recruitment

New Generation of Footballers for Ghana

Vodafone Ghana and the Right to Dream Academy, one of Ghana's foremost sports training institutions will this weekend embark on a massive countrywide exercise to recruit football talents into the next session at the academy to create a promising generation of Ghanaian footballers.

The recruitment exercise kicks off with a big launch on Sunday 1 August, 2010 at the Wesley College Park in Kumasi. The train moves to Sunyani from 14-15 August and then Tamale from 21-22 August. The train hits Bolga on the 24-25 August, Koforidua from 18- 19 September and then Tema on the 9-10 October. The recruitment train will then move to Accra on 16-17 October.

The Right to Dream Academy in Ghana is a non-profit making, fully residential international school which offers five year scholarships to children aged 11 and above. The Academy focuses on ensuring that every child achieves success and is able to reach their true potential, using the skills and knowledge they acquire from the academy to build a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. Vodafone is partnering the academy to ensure as many young less-privileged Ghanaian as possible will benefit from this great opportunity.

The Academy was set up in 1999 by British football coach Tom Vernon. But unlike most football academies, it puts as much emphasis on education as football, and its graduates are as likely to gain scholarships to U.S. universities as they are to play professional football.

It was while coaching teams in the Ghanaian Premier League that Vernon realized the country had a wealth of enthusiastic and talented young football players, but a lack of opportunities for them to develop their sporting ability and get an education.

Vodafone's involvement in this project is borne from the company's belief that every child needs to be given the opportunity to achieve success for themselves, their families and entire community where they come from. "We are committed to supporting one of Ghana's greatest passions, which is football and to help build a new generation of world class footballers for the future Ghanaian football, which is now respected all over the world "said the Head of Corporate Communications at Vodafone Ghana.

According to Tom Vernon, who heads the Right to Dream Academy, the academy holds about 70 recruitment events each year in towns and villages across Ghana adding that potential students are assessed on their football ability and their aptitude levels.

"If they look promising we bring them to the academy for six to eight weeks and really look at their strength of character, which is the most important characteristic of the kids who come to the school," said Vernon.

Successful candidates are given full scholarships to live, train and study at the academy, funded by the academy's sports tourism business, and private donors.

But football success is only part of the game at the academy. "The real focus of what we're doing is the development of the country," said Vernon. "So this isn't a deal where a kid comes in, makes it as a footballer and says 'thank you very much.'

"It's a lifetime commitment to develop their talents for the betterment of the country -- whether that means becoming a footballer who has a slightly more socially responsible outlook on life than some of the current professional footballers from Africa, or whether it's going off and using your football to get yourself a world-class education."

Gideon Asare Sackitey

Media Relations

Vodafone Ghana


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