About five thousand athletes have descended on their national capital, Accra, for the maiden National Unity Games which replaces the National Sports Festival slated for the next ten days.
The athletes, pieced together from all ten regions plus the security services and the Universities are, expected to compete in 20 disciplines in the Games aimed at unearthing talents for the various national teams.
Under the theme ‘Uniting the People through Sports’, the Games opened in Accra with all the regions looking expectant despite the poor attendance at the opening ceremony of the event which makes a return after seven years vacation.
The opening ceremony failed to live up to billing despite an entertaining opening match between host Greater Accra and Ashanti Region’s colts teams in a game the host won 2-1 in front of a sizable crowd in attendance. It was dominated by the participants and school children who were bused to the arena.
Various supporters groups dotted around the stadium trying to create an atmosphere of fun in the midst of some participants only trickling in for the ceremony, which was opened by, Vice President John Dramani Mahama, for the beginning of the Games.
The disjointed ceremony saw past national heroes and heroines make a short lap to initiate the process of lighting the Games Flame to signify the opening of the ten-day event that will have athletes compete in colts football, amateur boxing, badminton, judo, cycling, volleyball, tennis, table tennis and tekwondo among others.
The Accra Stadium, El-Wak stadium, the ports oval of the University of Ghana, the ATTC Park and Legon – Presec Park are some of the venues to host the Games.