Accra, June 05, GNA – Madam Kati Csaba Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, , says achieving sports and academic excellence at the same time is possible therefore students talented in sports should not give up.
She noted that one could play sports, especially hockey and excel academically and added that there were numerous benefits one could get in participating in or playing hockey.
The High Commissioner made this known at the second edition of the Hockey Youth Empowerment Summit held at the Lincoln Community School in Accra.
She mentioned that engaging in both activities gave the participants mental sharpness and the ability to work together as a team.
She added that it was her desire to see the passion for hockey flourish in Ghana, “alongside our beloved football, because hockey, in all its forms, had so much to offer” saying “participating in field hockey would open up a world of opportunity for young people in Ghana”.
The summit, organised by Ball and Stick in partnership with Field Hockey Canada, was held on the theme; ‘’Growth, it begins with you’ brought together about 14 basic and senior schools from the Greater Accra Region with support from Harrow Sports and Letshego.
Schools that participated were; Lincoln Community School, Akosombo International School, Delhi Public School (DPS), East Airport International School, Ghana Christian International High School, Al-Rayan International School, Ridge Church School and Legacy Girls College.
The rest were; Achimota Senior High School, Accra Academy Senior High, Legon Presec Boys, Accra Girls Senior High, Mfantsiman Senior School, St Mary’s Senior High and Dominion Christian Academy (Action Chapel).
The Chief Executive officer of Ball and Stick, Kojo Lumor Ameye, noted that “hockey was once a vibrant sport in Ghanaian schools, but this was not without deliberate action”.
He said there was a misconception about field hockey, as many saw it as a dangerous sport, due to the kind of equipment it required.
He mentioned the shift in focus of schools away from physical activity and sports over the years, with most schools lacking recreational and sporting facilities.
The CEO explained that the aim of Ball and Stick in organising the summit for schools was to show that “you can go to school, play hockey, and still succeed.”
A Technical Official Panel Member of the International Hockey Federation (IHF) Olympics, Mr Frank Oti Mensah, encouraged the students to take their studies seriously, while also giving their all in the field of play, saying that they could not know where an opportunity would arise from.
Other speakers who shared their journey in hockey through their career path to who they were currently were; Nora Goddard-Despot, U23 Gold medalist and Assistant Captain for Canada Women Junior Hockey Team, Bernadette Bowyer, Canada Coaching Staff and Sofia Alia, field hockey coach as well as a high-performance coach.
Also in attendance was Ghana’s number one female hockey player, Elizabeth Opoku, Captain of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)’s Royal Ladies Hockey Team.
About 20 randomly chosen students from the participating schools received a hockey stick and a ball each.
An inter-school hockey tournament would be held later in the year for participating schools. Talented athletes would have the opportunity to visit Field Hockey Canada.