Some students across the country have been sent packing after camping nearly two weeks in preparations for the upcoming Second Cycle Inter-Regional Games.
The annual competition which is set to be hosted in Cape Coast from 16th August will have students from the various regions competing for honors in various disciplines. It is hosted under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Education service.
Each region is usually required to present their strongest squad to compete in disciplines such as football athletics, basketball, volleyball, netball, handball, badminton and table tennis.
It’s a competition most young, up and coming sportsmen and women are often looking forward to as a good performance in the games could provide the springboard to professional careers.
This year however, Ultimate FM sources have discovered that several hundreds of those children are being sent home with explanation of financial constraints. The various regional teams have been in camp for almost two weeks with their approved final list of participants totaling 244 athletes per region.
But following a meeting late last (Tuesday) night, coaches and trainers were shocked to be told that they were required to prune down their list from 244 to 180 because the ministry did not have money to cater for all 244 from each region. In a letter cited by Ultimate FM, the various regional Physical Education Directors were further instructed to strike out two sporting disciplines – volleyball and table tennis which means all the students who were selected and have been in camp training to compete in these events will be sent home.
All other disciplines have also had their numbers reduced with football required to present 16 instead of 18; basketball (10 instead of 12); netball (10 instead of 12); netball (10 instead of 12); athletics (30 instead of 36); hockey (16 instead of 18); badminton (3 instead of 4).
The number of coaches has also been reduced to 2 instead of 4. In total, about 640 children will be sent home from their camp, after spending two weeks with belief that they would have a chance to represent their region.
It is not clear how the students will finance the trips back home after traveling far and wide to join camp.