With a well-equipped stadium and prepared athletes, the 2017 HFC National Youth Athletics Festival got off to a great start at the Cape Coast Stadium on the 22nd August, 2017. All participating regions arrived hopeful of bagging majority of the medals but it looked like no other region came better prepared than the Ashanti Region.
At the official ceremony to open the two-day competition, the acting Managing Director of HFC Bank, Mr. Anthony Jordan inspired the athletes to be the change of Ghana’s Athletics. “You are the future and if Ghana should win gold in future Olympics or at International Competitions, it starts from where you are standing. It starts with YOU” Mr. Anthony Jordan added. According to Mr. Jordan, HFC Bank’s involvement in the sport was not only to provide logistical support for the event but also to facilitate the development of talent from the junior level to become national assets. The Managing Director, in his opening address also charged the athletes to write their names in the record books by setting new records. “Your strength should not be how weak or strong your competitors are. Your strength must come from within. You must strive to break records and win. We must finish this competition knowing that most records in the books of the National Youth Athletics have been erased and your names recorded in their place. It is possible. You are better than what you think you are”.
Photo: Mr. Anthony Jordan
The two day athletics festival was characterized by a number of great performances from the enthusiastic group of young athletes from all regions in Ghana. However, the white vest of Ashanti Region dominated the frontlines of almost all disciplines. This came as no surprise to the officials and followers of youth athletics since the Ashanti Region were known for their prowess in Athletics. At the end, they were awarded with almost all the Gold Medals and emerged the overall winners of the 2017 National Youth Athletics Festival.
By the end of the competition, eleven (11) new records were set including 100m and 200m and the relays for both Men and Women. This represents the highest number of records set in a single competition in the thirty year history of the National Youth Athletics Festival. It is worth to note that the new record time set at the event for the men’s 100m is 11:31sec. The Olympic 100m record set by Usain Bolt is 9.58.The vast improvements of this year’s festival can largely be attributed to the sponsorship given by HFC Bank (Ghana) Limited.
The Management and staff of HFC Bank congratulate all the Athletes and organizers of the event (GES) for a fantastic job in making the event a roaring success.
It is without any doubt that the 2017 National Youth Athletics Festival produced the highest number of talents for Ghana Athletics. There is, therefore, a need for greater attention on these young Athletes if Ghana wants to make great strides in future Athletics Competitions.
The next stage along the journey would be a capacity building seminar for the Athletes and Coaches. The coaches are expected to be trained on athlete management, new coaching trends and developing world-class athletes.
HFC Bank Ghana signed a three year partnership with the Ghana Education Services in 2016 to sponsor Youth Athletics. This year’s competition is the second of the three year sponsorship deal. HFC Bank believes that CSR must result in the long term benefits for communities. It is the Bank’s vision to build world class athletes that are capable of competing and winning Gold medals for Ghana.
The Ghana Tokyo Gold (GTG) agenda is on course. Together, we can achieve great feats in athletics for Ghana.
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