President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Friday commissioned a GHC4million ultra-modern artificial football park at the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA) to harness the sporting potential of the school's community and its environs.
The facility, with a spectator seating capacity of 500 including VIP seating, changing rooms, wash rooms, offices and flood lighting, was funded from the University's internally generated funds.
At a short ceremony at the University's campus at Madina, near Accra, President Akufo-Addo said it was important that educational institutions paid attention not only to intellectual prowess but also to healthy living because physical exercise is an essential part of mental and psychological well-being.
Physical activity, he indicated, "fosters resilience, tenacity, endurance, discipline, commitment, hard work, teamwork and the staying spirit, whilst building up the confidence of those engaged in it.
" "These attributes and skills that are routinely associated with sports are vital in molding the citizens of every society.
That is why the freedom to develop physical and intellectual and moral strength through physical education and Sports must be guaranteed both within educational system and in the wider space of social life," he stressed.
President Akufo-Addo said Government was committed to promoting Sports in the country's educational institutions and was fully supportive of corporate initiatives in that direction.
He pointed out that the provision of requisite sports infrastructure was critical to Ghana regaining its pride of place in sports on the continent and the world.
To that end, the President said his administration had undertaken some 68 sporting projects across the country since assuming office.
Out of the 68 projects, 12 have been completed and 36 are still ongoing.
These include the construction of Youth Formational Centres in 10 regions which were all at significant stages of completion as well as the construction of some 29 astro turf pitches nationwide.
The President told the gathering that his government was determined to ensure the development of sporting facilities across the length and breadth of Ghana.
"We are making sure there'll be room for Ghanaians to successfully compete at the highest levels of sport in the world.
"We want to make sure that when children turn on the television to watch sporting programs they will be able to find on the field and track Ghanaian successfully competing at the highest levels," he said.
The President commended the management of the University for its consistent effort to develop the school’s infrastructure.
He also applauded the UPSA for its recent academic achievements, saying he was happy the school was readying itself for the first graduates of the Free Senior High School programme.
The President reiterated government's commitment to ensuring that all youth gained access to senior high school and tertiary education "as they represent the best ways of equipping the citizenry with the requisite skills for rapid national development".