A new Astroturf sports complex, the Nii Adjei Kraku II Sports Complex, constructed by the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA) has been commissioned in Tema Newtown.
The decision to construct the GHS 4,066,102.19 facility, was taken by GPHA as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), in conjunction with the leadership of the Tema Traditional Council, based on needs assessment premised on their desire to see to the fruition of the project for the youth and community.
Addressing the official commissioning of the facility yesterday, Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, indicated that more than thirty (30) brand new Astro-Turfs have been constructed by the Akufo-Addo led government across the country with Adenta, Karaga, Yendi, Beposo, Bantama, Akyemansa, Mankessim, Adiembra and Tarkwa, among others as some of the beneficiary communities.
He said, it was the belief of government that having such facilities spread across the country will significantly impact efforts at youth empowerment and ensure a healthy population through sports and games.
He however entreated other public sector agencies to emulate the example of GPHA by reaching out to communities in their operational areas and lending support to them.
“This way, we will be taking care of the social needs of the people, while taking some of the burdens off the shoulders of government,” he said.
Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah also averred that the high level of friendship that exists between the Authority and the Chiefs and people of Tema Newtown that culminated in the construction of this facility, will be strengthened and hopes that the facility will go a long way to inject additional impetus into the Tema Newtown community and also become a catalyst that will enhance the quality of life of the people, especially the youth.
He mentioned that the government of His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has initiated various strategic policies aimed at addressing challenges facing the youth of the country; and fixing the issue of youth unemployment has been one of the primary concerns of President Akufo-Addo’s government.
“It is imperative to note that one of the surest ways of getting the youth off the streets is to establish facilities such as what we are about to commission today to ensure that they spend their time profitably. This is why I’m delighted to be part of this ceremony. As witnessed by all present, the Nii Adjei Kraku II Sports Complex, comprises a world class astro-turf football playing field with sufficient illumination for night games, a spectator stand, a multipurpose court for volley and basketball, tennis lawn, changing rooms, washrooms, and a children’s playground,” he said.
The Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Mr. Michael A. Luguje on his part indicated that the late Tema Mantse, Nii Adjei Kraku II, had played a pioneering role in ensuring that the Newtown Community gets such facility.
He said “It is rather sad that late Nii Adjei Kraku II did not live to witness this day. May we please observe a minute silence for him. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.”
The Astro turf park which was constructed and under Wembley Sports Construction Company Limited, Mr. Michael A. Luguje explained, has a standard FIFA size AstroTurf pitch, a spectator stands with seating capacity of 1,000, a VIP stand and changing rooms, a multipurpose side court for volleyball and basketball, a lawn tennis court, a playground for kids, additional changing rooms and washroom facilities under the spectator stands and eight commercial stores complemented by the requisite drains and superstructure.
He also noted that the Authority will subsequently provide a fence wall at the cost of GHS 900,000.00, though that was originally not part of the project.
“We are of the view that this facility will be beneficial to this community and will help in no small measure to shape and empower the youth as far as raising responsible young people for our country is concerned. This facility should serve as a uniting factor in the community where people are seen engaging in various sporting activities to keep fit and to bond.”
He said GPHA will continue to deepen collaboration and cooperation with the view to creating a healthy relationship with their external public, particularly those who reside in the communities in which they operate.