The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has commissioned a $300,000 astro turf pitch at Ainyinase, in the Ellembele district of Western Region.
The facility, the first of its kind to be constructed in the Nzema area, will go a long way to promote professional soccer and other sporting activities. It will also help train and harness potentials in the youth for the benefit of Nzema and Ghana as a whole.
According to officials, the Ainyinase astro turf is one of 30 of such facilities being constructed by GNPC across the country.
It was executed by Waste 360, an Accra-based construction firm, with plans by GNPC to further undertake some outside construction works such as drainage and bitumen surfacing to prolong the lifespan of the pitch.
Freddie Blay, Board Chairman of GNPC, officially handed it over to Kwasi Bonzoh, District Chief Executive for Ellembele, in a short ceremony on Sunday. This was immediately followed by a football match between a local football team, Karela FC, and Inter Allies FC, a game that resulted in a lone goal in favour of Karela.
The event was witnessed by football fanatics, traditional leaders and government functionaries, including Ms Eunice Buah, a member of the Council of State, and Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the Senior Minister.
In an earlier remark, Dr K K Sarpong, Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, disclosed plans by the Corporation, in collaboration with Ghana National Gas Company, to sponsor Karela FC with some $100,000 dollars annually for the next three years.
The support, he explained, is to help Karela become one of the powerful football clubs in the country.
Dr Sarpong urged members of the club to justify the sponsorship by training hard and winning games.
Senior Minister Osafo-Maafo urged Karela FC to justify their worth of the sponsorship by letting it show in their performance. He also advised management and players of the team to let discipline lead them in all their endeavours.
The Executive Director of GNPC Foundation, Dr Dominic Eduah, noted that GNPC’s aim is to impact the lives of all Ghanaians, and described the construction of the numerous sports infrastructure as a form of economic empowerment for the youth.
He called for proper care and maintenance of such facilities to prolong their lifespan, adding that GNPC has a way of monitoring its projects.