The Volta Schools and Colleges Federation on Saturday, March 10 held the Opening Ceremony of the 45th Annual Inter-Zonal Sports Festival at Ho Sports Stadium.
The Ceremony which came off a day after the games had begun was graced by the Deputy Regional Minister, Regional Sports Director of NSA, Education Directors and several dignitaries, including the Regional P.E Coordinator.
The Regional Director of Education, John Kodzo Teku admonished the zones to continue to be disciplined, touching on the significance of Sports and advising all to avoid hooliganism which normally tarnishes the beauty of the games.
“I doth my heart out for all the PE personnel who instil discipline in the students that led to winning laurels for their schools. Meanwhile, Time Management is also an aspect of discipline. Sports play a critical role in developing the discipline required for academic achievement and success. Sport is a great avenue for amusement, it brings about a heathy lifestyle, gives touristic exposure, brings about unity, serves as a vocation and offers job opportunity. Hooliganism, disruptive aggressiveness, Cheating and all forms of unacceptable behaviour, will bring disgrace to your school and the zone, or even mar the beauty of the program. To the officials and Referees, you are been called upon to exhibit a high level of professionalism and fairness to all participants”
The Deputy Regional Minister, Hon. Maxwell Quofi Blagogee in delivering a talk on ‘Sports development in the Volta Region’ cited the Importance of Physical Education and advised all Heads of Schools to support Sports, to end the rampant poaching of their talents by other regions.
“Physical Education plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of individuals and nations. The United Nations Education Scientific and Actual Organization UNESCO clearly identifies Physical Education and Sports as essential ingredients in the production and development of desirable personalities. It is against this backdrop that I wish to admonish heads and teachers of the various Institutions to pay serious attention to the teaching and practice of Sports and Physical Education in our schools. I urge our heads to continue supporting sports in every way possible, to put an end to rampant poaching by the head of Senior High Schools in other regions.”
The one-week Festival involving 7 zones in the region will compete for laurels and bragging rights in Handball, Volleyball, Netball, Table Tennis, Soccer, Athletics and Cross Country.
Meanwhile, games like Table Tennis have ended, while others will wrap up on Sunday and some also continue, in the single round robin format Festival.
In Soccer which is still ongoing, South zone is leading with 5 points out of 2 games played in the girl’s division. They beat Lower North 1-0 and won 4-3 penalties against host Central after a 0-0 stalemate. Lower North, Upper North and North and Central zone are all tied on 3 points each with Lower Mid-South 6th with no point. Upper Mid-South didn’t present a team.
The Boys division defending champions, Lower North is dominating with 7 points after 3 victories. They are closely followed by Central, who lost the Opening Ceremony Match against the leaders on penalties. Upper Mid-South and Upper North are with 3 points each while Lower Mid-South and South are also tied on 1 point each. Languishing at the bottom is South, who are with no point.
In the already finished Table Tennis, host Central is second in both boys and girls division to South. Lower North, Lower Mid-South finished 3rd and 4th in the boy’s category, while Upper North, Upper Mid-South and North zones were all tied on 5th. Lower Mid-South came 3rd in the girl’s category while North, Upper Mid-South, Upper North and Lower North wrapped up the positions at 4th. Emmanuel Atipko and Ruby Lartey were adjudged Best Table Tennis players.
Netball which saw only four zones will wrap up their games on Sunday, with Lower North making their first appearance. The debutants have won a game out of 2, same as defending champions Central, who beat the former but lost to Upper Mid-South, who are in pole position to be winners this year. Upper Mid-South plays Lower North whereas Lower Mid-South hosts Central.
In Handball Girls, Central is in a comfortable lead with 6 points from 3 matches, and are followed by South and Upper North. Lower Mid-South is bottom with no point, while North and Lower North manage 2 points. The Boys game is also been dominated by Central and Lower North, who will clash on Sunday, in the rounding up of the games. Both sides have won all 3 matches and are with 6 points each. South is having 4 points, while Upper North are with 2 points. North and Lower Mid-South are with no a point.
Volleyball, which also had all 7 zones representing, has seen south shot themselves in the lead in both categories, winning 2 matches each. In the girls, Upper Mid-South is sharing point (4) with South. All other zones have 2 points each, except North and Lower Mid-South who are yet to win a game. The boys have Central, Upper North, Lower Mid- South and Upper Mid-South with 2 points each, while Lower North and North are yet to win a match.
Athletics will begin properly on Monday as 1500m boys and girls final was done during the half between match between Lower North and Central, which the later won 6-5 on penalties after a 1 all draw.
Basketball Games have been cancelled due to unsettled issues with some zones.
By: Davis Nii Attuquaye Clottey