The Cruyff Foundation, based in The Netherlands, in collaboration with Cargill Ghana Limited, a cocoa-buying licensed company, and the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, has built a state-of-the-art Cruyff Court in Tema, where sports and game activities will be deployed for children and young people.
The court, representing a significant investment in the youth, talent and future leaders, would provide schoolchildren in Tema with the opportunity to develop their leadership capabilities, both on and off the field.
The Ghana Education Service Directorate in the Metropolis estimates that about 6,038 children would benefit from the ultra-modern facility, the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa, which has male and female changing rooms, floodlights and security fencing, and is also disability friendly.
As part of the project, Cruyff Foundation trained 16 local coaches to support activities and model their leadership values on the court and in the communities.
Additionally, to ensure that the facility serves its purpose and is maintained well, a local Steering Committee, comprising representatives of the Tema Metro Sports Committee, Kwasi Plange Electoral Area, Tema Traditional Council, Ghana Education Service, Cargill Ghana Limited, Mante-Din School and the Metropolitan Assembly has been set up and charged with the responsibility.
Yusuf Mustapha, Minister for Youth and Sports, commissioned the facility last Friday, and commended the Cruyff Foundation and Cargill for the investment.
Highlighting the facility’s positive impact on youth sports in Tema, the Minister said the project reinforces the commitment of the Government of Ghana and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to developing children’s potential from an early age.
So far, he said, Ghana had 120 astro turf pitches from about five in 2016. He, therefore, encouraged other industries and assemblies to emulate the commitment of Cruyff Foundation and Cargill Ghana Limited with the Tema Assembly to develop sports and build more astro turfs across the country.
Aedo van der Weij, Managing Director of Cargill Ghana, remarked: “This facility will go a long way to promote the development of sports among the youth of Tema. This project exemplifies Cargill’s values—doing the right thing, reaching higher and putting people first—and reinforces our commitment to improving livelihoods in our communities.”
Niels Meijer, Chief Executive Officer of Cruyff Foundation, also added that the facility would benefit kids and youngsters for whom sport is not a guaranteed part of their lives.
“With this Cruyff Court, we create space to play sports; space to make friends; space to have fun [games] and space to grow through sports and play,” he said.