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The Football Association (FA) Chairman for the West Gonja Municipal Assembly, Mr Iddrisu Sumani (Action) has called on all stakeholders in sports to develop interest with passion in the sector to help speed up sports development in the municipality.
He said the focus of the development must be centered on what he called "Youth Development". This will pave way for unearthing excellent future athletes who will carry the municipal assembly high and for that matter, the Savannah region.
Mr Iddrisu Sumani said this whilst welcoming participants to the program "Stakeholder Engagement on Sports Development in the West Gonja Municipality at the Damongo Senior High School Library complex".
He added that, the need to attach passion for sports and youth development to unearth talent is a must. So for that matter all stakeholders must get involved to raise better athletes to help the National Sports Authority (NSA) raise the positive image of the assembly and the region as a whole.
He urged all and sundry to contribute to the growth and development of soccer and sports as whole with positive mindset to help develop youth sports for the area. The municipality is expecting the construction of of a 50,000 seater capacity stadium in the coming months.
The NSA Regional Director, Mr Ibrahim Jihad said the area is very fortunate to get a new region and with Damongo as the capital, the town needs a strong sports base to help build sports in the other districts in the Savannah region.
Mr Jihad disclosed that plans are far advanced to form the Municipal and Districts Assemblies Sports Committees to assist improve the sector across Gonjaland. He said the region needs to have leaders in all the 38 sporting disciplines.
This will make Savannah region a force to battle with anytime National Sports Games are being organized. Mr Jihad also disclosed that the NSA is planning for an inter-disctrict games for Savannah region come June, 2021.
He urged all stakeholders to put their resources together to form associations for the various sporting disciplines, this he said, will pave way for funding from the national headquarters.
According to him, Funding in the 21st century is made directly to various sporting associations and not to the National Sports Authority at the regional levels. The more we form various sporting associations, the more direct funding we get from the national level, he added.
Although infrastructure is still a challenge for the new region, Mr Jihad urged stakeholders not to relent in their efforts at trying to promote the youth development in the area.
He appealed to all to come on board and assured that his doors are widely open for people who are ready to build sports in the region.
A Deputy Municipal Planning and Economic Officer with the West Gonja municipality, Umar Husein in his submission, called on women to develop interest in sports so that they could be part of various sports committees. This will make the grounds fertile for the associations anytime they write to seek sponsorship from organizations and individuals.
He again disclosed that, the West Gonja municipality has earmarked a 20-acre land for the construction of a stadium and the land has been handed over to a consultant for advice. Plans are also in place for the contribution of an astro-turf facility at Laribanga in the West Gonja municipal assembly.
Mr Umar Husein lauded the call by leadership for stakeholders to develop passion for sports and the youth development since these two can help the growth and development of sports faster.
The Municipal Sports Development Officer, Mark Iddrisu Urinah called on SHS graduates who love sports to get themselves involved in the development of the young ones and assured that, the GES and various schools are ready to feed the various sporting disciplines with young athletes.
A representative from the Customary lands, Mr Alhassan urged the municipal assembly to register the 20 acre land earmarked for the construction of the stadium to avoid any future encroachment and land related litigation. All lands allocated for sports development must be taken care of by the West Gonja municipal assembly to prevent encroachment.
Mr Abdulai Hashim called for immediate formation of a Sports Working Committee to work closely with the right authorities to secure the sports lands in the municipality and also work towards the construction of the stadium.
The municipal assembly, Social Services, security agencies and others should be part of the committee together with the sitting MCE to make sure the growth and development sports is tackled with the right stakeholders.
In all over 20 participants attended the meeting and contributed meaningfully towards sports development in the area.
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