The Acting National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, says having thoroughly examined the proposal of the Sports, Health and Lifestyle Improvement Project (SHAIP), and how the organisers intend to implement it, he is convinced that the project if well executed will be the best thing ever to happen to Ghana’s sporting industry.
“What is going to happen to sports in this country is earth-moving”, he noted much to the applause of the gathering at the official launch of SHAIP in Accra on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
Mr. Blay, who is a former First Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, further told the gathering that Ghana’s sporting industry has over the years suffered a lot in terms of innovation and funding, a situation he noted, has led to the collapse of some sporting disciplines.
However, with the introduction of SHAIP, a US&400million project being spearheaded by SLEMCO, he was of the firm conviction that the ailing sporting industry will be uplifted and create more employment opportunities to the country’s teeming youth.
SHAIP is a project which aims at reviving Ghana’s ailing sporting industry. It is a five-year project which is expected to improve on the general wellbeing of the people and unearth talents in all the various sporting disciplines.
SHAIP aims to construct fifteen (15) sporting centres in each of the 275 constituencies in Ghana. It has an objective to employ 250,000 unemployed people between the ages of 18 to 35 years during the period.
The project, the first of its kind in Ghana and the African continent, is in two phases, with the first phase covering a period of two years that will see the establishment facilities and the delivery of services such as lifestyle coaching and the prevention of diseases.
During the period, SLEMCO with footprints in the United Kingdom aims to introduce 5,000 schools sports centres nationwide with floodlights and Wi-Fi; construct 500 artificial grass for 5,6, and 7 a-side football pitches with floodlights with a Wi-Fi.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SLEMCO, Coach DeGraft, commenting on the project said SHAIP has the potential of increasing the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to US$10 – 20 billion per annum through sports tourism.
The project, he added, comes with a fast-track certificated course which will be implemented to enable the trainees to enter the job market quickly.
Each beneficiary will be sponsored a minimum of GH₵8,000.00 or US$2000 a year.
“Our sponsors will pay for this. So, you don’t have to be rich to participate in this ambitious project”, he noted.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SLEMCO, Kwaku Boateng Debrah, on his part, explained to the gathering how prepared and ready they are to roll out the multi-million dollar project.
“We have over 100 contractors who have registered with us to execute this job. They are ready and we are also ready with the funds to finance this project. As part of phase 1 of the project, the over contractors are going to build four (4) sporting centres in each of the constituencies in the regional capitals every month. So, you can now imagine how many sports centres we are going to get every month. This is unprecedented and it is going to happen”, he noted.
The Ghana Education Service which is a partner of the project assured their fullest commitment to supporting and ensuring that the project comes on stream.