The Minister of Youth and Sports in Ghana, Clement Kofi Humado, has partly blamed the sinking level of Ghana sports to the collapse of the National Sports Festival.
Mr Humado said disappointing results in international competitions in recent times such as the All Africa Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games can partially be rested on crumple of the previously held annual national event.
The event, now christened ‘National Unity Games', bounces back this year after a seven-year break, and will take place from 17-27 July at the University of Ghana Sports grounds under the theme, "Uniting the people through Sports."
Speaking at the formal launch of the Games, the Minister said the event has served the platform for the unearthing of talents, who have risen from national to international prominence in the various disciplines and its non-existence has greatly affected talent identification.
"The collapse of the National Sports Festival for the past seven years, partly explains why Ghana has of late not been faring well in international competitions," he said.
Some products of the National Sports Festival include Professor Francis Dodoo, Azumah Nelson, Margaret Simpson, Vida Nsiah, Vida Anim, Gifty Abankwa, Alice Anum, Emmanuel Tuffuor, Aziz Zakari, Rose Hart, Grace Bakari, Veronica Barwuah, Hanna Afriyie, Andrews Owusu and Leonard Myles-Mills amongst others.
Mr Humado commended the National Sports Authority (NSA) for the revival of the Games and also for the inclusion of Colts football into the disciplines.
The Minister noted that Colts football which has a large following in the country served as the nursing grounds for the likes of Abedi Pele, Stephen Appiah, Michael Essien and Asamoah Gyan amongst others.
He was hopeful that the introduction of Colts football will produce more future stars for Ghana football, which has been on the low side in recent times.
Mr Humado therefore appealed to corporate bodies, individuals and private institutions to support the Ministry to meet the growing demand for sports excellence in the country.
About 5000 sportsmen and women from all over the country are expected to participate in disciplines such as Colts football, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Amateur Boxing, Chess and Disabled Sports.
The rest are Handball, Hockey, Judo, Karate-do, Netball, Cycling, Scrabble, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Volleyball, Tennis and Weightlifting.
[Source: Ghana News Agency]