Ghana Hockey Association launches World League Round 1

By Emmanuel Asante
Attakora, GNA

Accra, Sept. 1, GNA
– The Ghana Hockey Association (GHA), has launched the Hockey World League
Round 1, at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey pitch in Accra.

The hockey world
league round 1, which is to give participating countries the opportunity to
qualify for the second round of the World League in February 2017, is scheduled
to start from Friday, September 9 to Sunday, September 11, at the Stadium.

Ghana is hosting
teams from Nigeria, Kenya and Namibia in both the men and women’s category for
the tournament.

At the press launch
on Wednesday to outdoor the sponsors and the Ghana teams to the media, the
President of Ghana Hockey Association, Mr Richard Akpokavi noted that the
International Hockey Federation, introduced a world hockey league for many
nations to host the league in various continents.

It was one of the
paths to qualify through to the world cup and also give ranking points to help
the various national teams.

“Ghana is honoured
to host one of the leagues…in Accra in September, with four countries
participating.

“The champions from
both the male and female categories will qualify for the hockey world league
round two, with the women set to be in Valencia Spain in February 2017 after
they qualify with the men to be in Bangladesh in 2017.”

Mr Akpokavi
explained that it is important for Ghana to host the league as it would give
Ghanaians the opportunity to see world class hockey.

“We are used to our
local hockey league and it is time to be introduced to hockey from Africa and
the world at large.

“It is also an
opportunity for the corporate world who have supported hockey in the past and
those supporting now and the ones to come on board in the future to see what
hockey has and for them to know that it’s worth partnering hockey to sell their
brands and at the same time sell hockey,” he added.

Mr Akpokavi urged
the Sports Ministry to help get more hockey astro turfs to inculcate into the
youth the game of hockey and also nurture talents in the various regions.

A member of the
local organising committee for the tournament, Madam Elizabeth Safoah king used
the occasion to solicit for support from the media and corporate Ghana to help
fund the tournament, since government alone cannot sponsor the competition
successfully.

“We are having this
media launch to let the media help the GHA to give this tournament the
necessary hype for more sponsors to come on board since the budget has not been
met yet with few days to start the tournament.

“We have a budget
of about GH¢100.000 but as we speak now we have less than half that amount,”
she said.

The Minister of
Youth of Sports, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, who was the special invited guest
expressed gratitude to the GHA for making it possible for Ghana to get the nod
to host the tournament.

“I am very pleased
and excited that Ghana has been given the privilege to host such an exemplary
tournament.

“Reading the
literature on this world league I see the intention of the International
Federation of making hockey as attractive as football, playing the leagues and
making hockey very competitive and an all year round activity to also encourage
the improvement of the game in the various continents,” he said.

Nii Lantey, advised
GHA and both the male and female teams, to do well to raise the flag of Ghana
high and reciprocate the gesture the corporate sponsors have shown.

He called on
corporate bodies who are willing to help make the tournament a success to come
on board to facilitate a better contest.

GNA

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