The Distance Education Students’ Association (DESAG) has held its 4th Annual Games in three zones in Ghana
The Southern Zone Competition was held at the University of Ghana Sports Stadium and featured Distance Students from the Central, Greater Accra, Western and Volta Regions. For the Middle Zone, the games were held in Kumasi with participating teams from the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions whereas the Northern Zone which took place at Tamale comprised Distance Students from Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
Upper East Region won the games for the Northern Zone. Due to heavy downpour, the Middle Zone games could not end successfully for a winner to be determined.
They competed in athletics, volley ball and soccer.
Opening the competition in the Southern Zone, the Coordinator of the Students Support Services Unit of the College of Distance Education (CoDE), Dr. Felix Kumedzro, commended DESAG executives both national and regional, past and present for sustaining the games for the past four years. “You have worked together with your students and the College Management to create a vibrant and meaningful sporting platform, on which our distance students build their character and strive towards their sporting aspirations” he noted.
“The United Nations Human Rights and Sport for Development and Peace Framework states that the practice of education and sport is a fundamental right for all” he said. He explained that it articulated the right-based approach in sport and recreation including physical activity and leisure which have been present in the sport and recreation discourse since the founding of the United Nations that was preceded by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights that endorsed a framework of rights and duties. “Everyone student has the right to rest and leisure…and that…education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality…and everyone has the right to freely participate in the sporting life of the community,” he indicated.
Dr. Kumedzro said sport was a vehicle for youth development and empowerment, especially for boys and girls adding that “It is a tool for social integration and empowerment through tailored programmes. It teaches students values and shapes their attitudes, such as to respect the rules of the sport and the game officials, and sportsmanship”. In that regard, he noted that the role of the University Management particularly, the departments involved in sports and recreation were of pivotal importance.
Dr. Kumedzro who is also the Patron of DESAG, called on the Ghana Education Service to consider integrating other disciplines such as swimming. He expressed worry that the inter-school sports championships was only limited to athletics, volleyball, and football. “We should incorporate other sporting areas such as swimming to expose our students to other sporting skills,” he advised. According to him, “this will go a long way to equip our students to other sporting skills”.
The National President of DESAG, Mr.George Amenyo, expressed gratitude to the Sports Committee and other executives of the Association for the team spirit which ensured that the games were properly planned. He said the annual games served as a great opportunity to unearth talents of Distance Students as well as identifying good players to join the University’s main team for both national and international tournaments. “The games allow us to socialise and build network among ourselves and we strongly believe in our slogan that distance is not a barrier to education and anything in life,” he stressed.
Mr. Amenyo appealed to the players and athletes to abide by the rules of the games and reminded the supporters to comport themselves without resorting to any act that would destroy the beauty of the games. He wished the teams well and announced that for the first time in the history of the games, medals would be presented to the winning teams and deserving students. He assured them that DESAG would continue to seek their welfare and ensure that they study in a conducive academic environment.
At the end of the competition the Greater Accra Region emerged the overall winners with 9 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze medals whiles the Central Region placed second position with 2 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze, the Volta Region took the third position with 1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze followed by the Western Region placed fourth with 2 silver and 3 bronze.
The President for the Greater Accra Region, Mr. Bright Amoako, was excited that they have won the trophy and indicated they will do everything possible to retain it in the region for a long time.
Present at the games was the Regional Resident Tutor for the Greater Accra Region, Mr. Evans Frimpong Manso and some lecturers of CoDE.