Infrastructure key to harnessing youth sporting talents – CODA

Astroturf at Mallam Cluster of Schools
Astroturf at Mallam Cluster of Schools

As part of government efforts aimed at harnessing youth sporting talents in the country, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Coastal Development Authority (CODA), Jerry Ahmed Shaib, has observed that “the provision of the requisite infrastructure is critical if Ghana is to regain its pride of place in sports on the continent and in the world”.

The CODA CEO made this observation during the sod cutting ceremony for the construction of Astroturf at Mallam Cluster of Schools in Kasoa. The project forms part of the vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to provide each constituency with a modern multi-purpose sports facility.

The project will be funded through a public private partnership between CODA and Oxygen Capital Group, a UAE company. The partnership involves the planned construction of 12 modern astroturfs within the Coastal Development Zone

Several projects

Mr Ahmed Shaib said several Astroturf projects had been constructed in all six regions within the coastal zone under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), and assured the people that the 1st Phase of the project would be completed within 4months time.

“Just last week, CODA commissioned an Astroturf for Tarkwa Nsuem constituency. In March, CODA commissioned an Astroturf at Abelenkpe in the Ayawaso West Municpality. Abofu community in the Okaikoi North Municipality has been a beneficiary of an astroturf. CODA has also constructed and completed an astroturf in Mamprobi in the Ablekuma South Constituency, among others,” he stated.

Apart from astroturf pitches, he mentioned that his outfit had also completed infrastructural projects like durbar grounds, boreholes, health facilities, libraries, classroom blocks, school dormitories, drainage systems, roads, lorry parks and market centres across the Developmental Zones of the country.

The sod cutting ceremony took place over the weekend, and was attended by some government officials and traditional leaders. Present were the Municipal Chief Executive of Weija Gbawe Municipal Assembly, Patrick Kwesi Brako Kumor; the Queen mother of New Gbawe Traditional Area, Naa Yaniadey II, and a host of former national football stars.

According to him, IPEP is one of the government policies under the Akufo-Addo administration that allocates $1 million to each constituency for special infrastructure projects and social interventions.

“Projects are determined through stakeholder engagement and bottom-up needs assessment process. CODA leads the implementation of IPEP in 109 constituencies in the six regions that make up the Coastal Development Zone. This Astroturf will be one of the biggest in Greater Accra and its economic benefits would be manifold,” he noted.

Relevance / Purpose

The CODA CEO further indicated the project when constructed and completed is in fulfilment of the Akufo-Addo government’s promise to create an avenue to help unearth and develop the hidden talents of young people.

He noted that the spread of astroturfs within communities across the country would not only rekindle interest in sports activities and help unearth more talents, but would also help promote fitness and create economic wealth in terms of revenue mobilisation.

The CODA CEO also stressed that promoting fitness should be an essential part of Ghana’s healthcare delivery system, and therefore assured the MCE to complete the facility within 4months ultimatum.

Commendation / Appreciation

The Municipal Chief Executive of Weija Gbawe Municipal Assembly, Patrick Kwesi Brako Kumor, lauded the initiative and said he was hopeful the artificial turf football field when built would serve the teeming youth in the area.

He added that the pitch would serve footballers in the community by providing them the best of facilities to nurture their talents. “I am very happy for this initiative and I believe it will provide footballers with the opportunity to nurture their talents,” he said.

The MCE expressed gratitude to CODA for supporting the project which would help unearth and nurture football talents of residents within the Awutu Senya East Constituency and beyond.

According to him, CODA is bridging several developmental gaps through the construction of school blocks, drainages, health facilities, roads, among others.

Mr Brako Kumor pledged the Assembly’s commitment and support to ensuring that the facility is put up to good use as well as putting in place an effective maintenance plan when constructed.

He, however, urged residents in the area to properly maintain the facility when completed to help preserve it for future generations.

“This is a good initiative for the people of this constituency which I believe will help unearth and nurture football talents in the community,” the MCE added.

Caption: The Municipal Chief Executive of Weija Gbawe Municipal Assembly, Patrick Kwesi Brako Kumor, cuts sod for the Mallam Gbawe Cluster of Schools Astroturf.

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