An ambitious project worth US$400million is in the process of being rolled out by SLEMCO Company Limited under its Sports, Health and Lifestyle Improvement Project (SHAIP) aimed at reviving Ghana’s declining sporting industry.
The five-year project which is expected to improve the general wellbeing of the people and unearth sporting talents in all the various sporting disciplines will establish base in all the 275 constituencies in the country.
The project, which is a collaborative effort between SLEMCO, the National Sports Authority and the Ghana Education Service (GES), on the average, will see the establishment of fifteen (15) sporting centres in each constituency.
It has an objective to employ 250,000 unemployed people between the ages of 18 to 35 years during the period among other things.
The project, the first of its kind in Ghana and in the African continent, is in two phases with the first phase covering a period of two years that will see the establishment of sporting facilities and the delivery of services such as lifestyle coaching and the prevention of diseases.
Within the two years, SLEMCO with footprints in the United Kingdom aims to introduce 5,000 schools sports centres nationwide with floodlights and Wi-Fi; 500 artificial grass for 5, 6, and 7 a-side football pitches with floodlights and Wi-Fi.
At a media briefing in Accra, Thursday, to announce the implementation of the project, the Chief Operating Officer of SLEMCO, Kwaku Bamfo Boateng, his outfit is committed to ensuring the revival of the various sporting disciplines that have for some years now been neglected and are on the verge of extinction.
Among some of the sporting disciplines are; athletics, badminton, gymnastics, table tennis, cricket, basketball, handball, swimming, rugby, hockey, tennis, netball and volleyball.
Beneficiaries of this ambitious project which is expected to be rolled out across the various public schools in the country are expected to pay for the services being rendered.
Each beneficiary, according to the project managers, is expected to pay GH₵8,000 per annum.
Boateng further told journalists that to ensure that nobody is left out in the US$400million project; SLEMCO will build sixteen (16) National Sports Authority Centres of Excellence in all the ten (10) regions.
Funding for the project, he noted, is well catered for by private investors who are expected to arrive in the country next week. He however, welcomed any government support that will ensure the successful implementation of the project.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SLAMCO, Coach DeGraft Johnson, commenting on the project told journalists that the first sporting centre is expected to commence business by end of June, 2018.
According to him, all the sporting facilities that would be built across the country would be managed by professionals to ensure that beneficiaries get value for money.