Dr. Bello Bella Bitugu, the Sports Director of the University of Ghana has highlighted key strategies to achieve a sustainable development in sports as well as using it as a tool to address development, social and community issues in Ghana.
Addressing delegates and journalists at the 6th Association of International Press Society (AIPS) Congress in Accra, Dr Bitugu pointed out that, the media had a role to play in achieving development in Sports.
He said, Sports for Development should be positioned as a highly effective tool in a broader toolkit of development practices and should be applied in a holistic and integrated manner with other interventions.
He added that, not all sport programs were suitable for all development purposes, citing commercial sport programs, while potentially positive economic generators were not necessarily conducive to social development because of their primary objective.
“Society’s ills can be found in a sport environment as in all domains, so there is the need for effective management so that, they are not used to exploit the potentials of the vulnerable in our society.” He said.
He urged journalists to use the media and their journalistic tools to do mobilise the support of all key actors including Government, Civil Society, Donor Community, Media.
To achieve development in Sports, he called for discussions to agree for the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee to be coordinated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
He reiterated that, all sector Ministries should be encouraged to appoint Focal Persons to handle Sports for Development Issues.
In his address, he mentioned that, the Physical Education (PE) sessions in the basic schools should be used effectively so the benefits of Sports for Development could be accrued at that level.
On his part, Ghana should adopt and implement sport for development strategies in the broad national and regional development strategies.
He called for the establishment of strong relationships, partnerships and collaborations with other governmental institutions, NGOS, Individuals, Corporate bodies to achieve sustainable development in Sports.