The curtain on the forum organized by the Youth Development through Sports (YDS Ghana), a network of NGOs and government institutions that uses sport as a tool for development, would be lowered at the National Hockey Stadium in Accra today.
Â The program, which began yesterday on the theme, â€śSports- An effective tool for social development?â€ť saw experts, practitioners and stakeholders who use sports as a tool to address social issues and the Millennium Development Goals among children and young people Â deliberating on the positive role of sports in social development and look at strategies that can be adopted to create the needed awareness for Government, International Development Agencies, the Private Sector and the general public.
The maiden Sports For Development (S4D) Forum 2012 provided the necessary environment for networking among the participants, building their capacities in areas such as monitoring and evaluation of their programmes.
Â Participants are expected to have gained a better understanding of the Sports for Development concept and helped determine the way forward for the effective implementation of the concept in Ghana after the two-day forum.Â
Speakers at the Â Â Dr. Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah (Director- University of Ghana Sports Directorate), who spoke on â€śHow to use sports to achieve the Millennium Development Goalsâ€ť advised that government can convince the IMF to release funds for the realization of the Development Goals if it justifies itsÂ spending with documented proofs and the importance of sports.
â€śWe can achieve the Millennium Development Goals if evidence show that sports has the tendency to inculcate leadership skill in the youth.
â€śProofs of what sports icons like Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, Sammy Osei Kuffuor, Michael Essien bring into the country by way of remittances could also help realize the achievement of the Goals,â€ť he added.
Â South Africaâ€™s Tom Vernon (CEO Right to Dream),Tom Vernon (CEO – Right to Dream Academy), Mr. Philippe Ayivor (Public Relations and Communications Director, Coca Cola Equatorial Africa and The Coca Cola African Foundation), Lebogang Tlomatsane, YDF Africa Team, revealed that the initiative is a legacy program influenced by the 2010 World Cup.
He mentioned that sports has the potential to transform the lives of individuals and prepare young children to face challenges. Coordinator for Mozambique, Ghana and Zambia) Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu (Country Manager â€“ Right to Play, Ghana), Mr. Ernest Koranteng (Head, Joy Sports â€“ The Multimedia Group).Â Â
Speakers : Dr. E. Owusu-Ansah (Head, UG Sports Directorate), Tom Vernon (CEO Right to Dream), Dr. Bello Bitugu (Country Manager, Right to Play), Mr. Philippe Ayivor (Public Affairs and Communications Director for Coca Cola Equatorial Africa and The Coca Cola African Foundation) and many more.YDS Ghanaâ€™s mission is to develop a centre of competence that will strengthen long-term sports-based social development initiatives that can transform the lives of disadvantaged children and youth by increasing their opportunities and consolidating an environment of social change and productivity.
Its main objective is to promote and increase the use of sports as a tool for social development, influence national policy and encourage decision makers to adopt the â€śYouth Development through Sportsâ€ť approach in developing an agenda for social development and peace.Â
Membership of YDS is open to NGOs and government institutions that implement social development programmes for children and youth.Â Presently there are 12 organizations in the network including the National Sports Authority, National Youth Authority, Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders (ACRO Ghana), Africare, Play Soccer Ghana, Right to Play, Sports and Youth Development Organisation (SYDO), SOS Children’s Village, GIZ Regional Coordination Unit for HIV and Tuberculosis (GIZ-ReCHT), Orped Ghana and the Yes Foundation.
Â Â By Kofi Owusu Aduonum