The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has inaugurated a 4,000-seater McDan Teshie Sports Complex for sporting and recreational activities, as well as the development of talents in the Teshie township.
This is the first phase of the GH?20 million multi-purpose sports complex. Phase two will include the VIP section, a football academy, tennis court, basketball and volleyball courts, table tennis and swimming facilities when completed.
The once grassless pitch, which has now metamorphosed into a 110-metre by 75-metre square astro turf facility, is situated in the heart of Teshie Tsui Bleoo. It was financed by the McDan Foundation and constructed by the Wembley Sports Construction Company Limited.
It was built under the auspices of the former Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ledzokuku Constituency and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Bernard Oko Boye, who for the past three years had been knocking on the doors of Dr Daniel McKorley, owner of the McDan Foundation, to extend his social responsibility projects to the people of Teshie.
This is the second astro turf pitch funded by the McDan Foundation in the Greater Accra Region after the McDan Park at La, which serves as the home ground for some teams in the Women’s Premier League.
Cutting the sod to officially inaugurate the facility last Saturday, Dr Bawumia said: “I thank my good friend Dr Oko Boye for facilitating this sports complex and getting the funding for it. I would like to thank my good friend Mr Coleman for the construction of this beautiful edifice. It just tells us that if we put our minds to it, it is possible; so in the name of God, we commission this facility,” the Vice-President said.
He later performed the ceremonial kick-off for an exhibition match between old Black Stars players (Stephen Appiah XI) and Teshie-based football players (Oko Boye XI) to officially open the stadium for onward use.
The former Black Stars players were former skipper Stephen Appiah, Augustine Ahinful, Laryea Kingston, Sam Johnson, Derek Boateng, Goalkeeper Sammy Adjei, Razak Ibrahim, Godwin Attram, Jerry Akaminko, Emmanuel Armah (Senegal), Charles Taylor, Awudu Issaka, Dan Quaye and Goalkeeper Fatawu Dauda.
In attendance were the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Mustapha Ussif; the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey; the CEO of the McDan Group, Dr Daniel McKorley; the MP for Tema East Constituency, Mr Titus Glover; the CEO of the Wembly Sports Construction Limited, Mr Robert Coleman; the Teshie Mantse, Nii Ashitey Akonfra Gbetsorlor III, other traditional leaders, and some queenmothers from Teshie.
At the event, Mr Mustapha Ussif noted that the inauguration of the new astro turf was a testament that the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was committed to sports development.
“Before his assumption to office, we had only two astro turfs in the entire country. Today, as we commission this one by the Vice-President of the Republic, Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, this is the 152nd astroturf in the entire country,” he said.
“This shows that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government is committed to sports development at the grassroots because you cannot develop sports without infrastructure and we have started all these beautiful astro turfs across the country,” the Minister said.
An aerial view of the Teshie Astro Turf
He mentioned that aside from constructing astro turfs, the government had renovated the various stadia across the country while investing heavily in the construction of other sporting facilities to ensure that Ghana hosted the 2024 Africa Games in March.
“Aside from that, we are also renovating our sports stadiums. We have renovated Accra Sports Stadium, Baba Yara Sports Stadium and Cape Coast Sports Stadium. As we speak, we have invested heavily in the provision of sports infrastructure to host the African Games next year,” he said.
“We are committed to ensuring that we position sports as a vehicle for development to economic growth and also develop our talents. In other jurisdictions in Europe, football alone is a multi-billion Euro industry and that is how we want to position Ghana,” he added.
He thanked Dr McKorley for his huge investment in collaborating with the government to develop sports facilities across the country and called on other individuals and corporate entities to emulate the gesture.
For his part, Dr McKorley said his outfit was committed to supporting the government to build more sporting facilities across the country to develop talents and create a positive economic impact in the communities.
He added that sports, especially football, was a multi-billion dollar business but the country lacked the facilities and expertise to develop talents; hence, his outfit would continue to build such facilities to create the needed impact in the communities.
“Apart from training the people, there is something called economic impact. There are more than 100 vendors that are selling all kinds of items. This is what we call real economic impact into your pocket. So it is not only about the park, not only training the youth but for the women and hawkers who are also benefiting from this,” he said.
“I believe you all know what the brand McDan stands for. We stand for impact. Anything we do is all about impact. It is not how much we can do but how much impact the brand can create.
“Actually, this is going to be the fifth sports complex that we are putting up. Our next stop will be in Keta, and after Keta, we will be in Oguaa in the Central Region. This is what we are doing to create the needed impact,” Dr McKorley said.