INTER-REGIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL – Field Hockey In Retrospect
Even before the establishment of the Gold Coast Hockey Association in 1950, one of the predominant areas where the game saw its earliest development was in the second cycle institutions. Aside the Army and a few governmental organizations, the national teams by then had some of its assets from the second cycle institutions. Achimota School, Mfantsipim, Presec Legon, St. Augustines, Adisadel College and others were firmly rooted in Field Hockey.
Until 1974, when the first Inter-Regional Sports Festival was held, Field Hockey was one of the top sports which had a lot of participation. However, field hockey being the first Ghana National Sports Team to qualify to a world Cup in 1975, Kuala Lumpur(Malaysia) explains the tenacity of the sport by then.
Since 1974 when the first edition of the Inter-Regional Sports Festival was held, it had been an annual event till 1995 when it was restructured to be competed bi-annually.The reason for this restructuring was left to lack of Finance in carrying it out on a yearly basis. Though it being a weak cause for alarm, The stakeholders at the time arguably did not see the more harm it could go a long way to create than good in this sports festival itself.
A replica of this Sports Festival is the Ghana University Sports Association Games which is held annually. A major and a mini one held rotationally on a yearly basis. Unlike the Inter Regional Sports Festival,The GUSA games as the name says, is competed among the public universities across the nation.
We could boldly say that the GUSA games is much dependent on the Inter Regional Sports Festival. Almost 95% of the Sports boys and Girls from the second cycle Institutions who graduate into the Universities form the University teams which compete in the Ghana University Games, The Africa University Games, West Africa University Games, The World University Games etc. Its with no doubt to also point out that, The junior national teams, even across all disciplines had its roots from the Second Cycle Institutions. Aside all, the true spirit of sportsmanship is instilled in students right from the second cycle institutions. The core values of sports: Team work, Time management, Attitude, The Can Do Spirit etc is embedded in the youth right from these ages.
The 2017 Inter Regional Sports Festival is scheduled for Cape Coast this year from the 16th August to the 24th August. Months before we see its 30th edition, the sports festival has suffered a lot of frustrations right from the Physical Education Teachers to the students. Attempts were made to boycott the games, and field hockey was no exception. Lack of Finance was the issue once again, even after restructuring it to a bi annual event. Lots need not to be said, but what we believe in, is for stakeholders to be more proactive.
Below are the fixtures for the event