The Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Joseph Yammin has appealed to Chiefs and traditional rulers to donate lands and also mobilize their people to support the establishment of one well-resourced sports infrastructure in each district to enhance the development of sporting talents of the nation’s youth.

Hon. Yammin made the appeal when he launched the IAAF Nestle Kids Athletics Programme at the Accra Sports Stadium.

He stated that the proposed District Sports Arena, as it would be known, would have facilities such as a football field, an Athletic oval, multi-purpose courts for hand games, sports hall for indoor games as well as gymnasium.

“With these Arenas in the Districts, it is expected that the necessary facilities will be available to organize competitive sports at the grassroots and for our budding sportsmen and sportswomen to transform themselves into future stars” the Deputy Minister said.

The drawings and other necessary details of these Arenas, according to the Deputy Minister, were ready and fairly soon the various MMDAs would be contacted for land and other forms of support for construction work to commence

The Nestle Country Manager, Moataz El Hout stated that Nestlé was partnering the International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF) because the two institutions shared a common goal of promoting and encouraging physical activity among children, as well as promoting sound nutrition as the foundation for healthy habits and an active lifestyle.

“Nestlé Ghana is pleased to have entered into partnership with the Ghana Athletics Association to promote the development of grassroots sports in the country. This will help the children develop positive physical, health and social skills by engaging in sporting activities while enhancing the development of future athletes” he added.

The President of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), Prof. Francis Dodoo, was upbeat about the programme and underscored Nestlé’s support for it.

“Ghana Athletics Association’s goal/mandate is to develop a pipeline of next-generation athletes. Naturally, the process of development must begin in the chronological grassroots; that is, the young boys and girls who will be the beneficiaries of the program” he said.

Prof. Dodoo expressed the GAA’s thanks for the partnership with Nestlé, IAAF, Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Government in making the program possible.

The IAAF Nestle Kids Athletics programme is a 4-year initiative, which will be implemented in conjunction with the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) would benefit 200, 000 pupils nationwide in its first year alone.

It is aimed at encouraging school children to participate in athletics while, at the same time, educating them about the need for a healthy lifestyle as part of Nestlé’s commitment to Nutrition, Health and Wellness. An additional goal is to support the development of future athletes.

Aside effecting a landmark investment in sports development, it will further complement the company’s Healthy Kids programme, the global initiative, which promotes nutrition education, a balanced dieting, greater physical activity and a healthy lifestyle to children between the ages of six and 12.