Other Sports of 2014-04-13

Koshen Ghana Baseball and Softball Field set to unearth talents

The much awaited handing over ceremony of the Koshien Ghana Japan Baseball and Softball field took place last Saturday 12th April 2014 at the Labone Senior High School with the Minister of Youth & Sports Hon. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah entreating the various sporting associations to be proactive even before government sets in to support them.

He was impressed with the construction of the modern baseball pitch put up by Wilkado Construction for the Ghana Baseball & Softball Association, and promised that plans are advanced to provide all the ten regions with sports facilities.

The Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, Naoto Nikai in a speech said his country is committed to promoting the development of the youth through sports.

He noted that Japan’s involvement in promoting baseball in Ghana started in 1997 and they have tried to develop the Rising Stars, Ghana’s national team.

He expressed that the baseball field is to be named the “Koshen Ghana Baseball and Softball Field” referring to a famous annual nationwide Japanese High School Baseball Championship.

The Ambassador hinted that in future people from Japan will come and play against the youth in Ghana and prayed that the project will contribute to Ghana’s preparation towards the next Olympic Games, particularly in 2020 when Japan hosts the world.

“Among others, I believe that the construction and utilization of this field as the official baseball field of the Ghana Baseball & Softball Association of the National Sports Authority will further deepen the already cordial relations between Ghana and Japan” he stressed.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Hon. Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo alias Lion in sporting circles who donated $1,000 to the Baseball Association called for the strengthening of relationships and hoped more youth will take to play baseball as it is lucrative and has potential to develop talents and the economy of Ghana. He also called on the baseball authorities to ensure that the field is developed into a first class facility to attract others and maintained very well.

The African Development Foundation (ADF) director George Ntim who pledged $2,000 hoped that Ghana will one day be a haven for international baseball stars. He promised to provide equipment and appealed to the Sports Ministry to help in clearing the items.

The Association for Friends of African Baseball (AFAB) from Japan also shared some experience and ideas with Mr. Shiya Tomonari, first director of the national team congratulating all who contributed to the site now turning into an international sports facility.

He recalled the genesis of Ghana Baseball in 1993 and the positive contribution of Albert Frimpong, the national president’s efforts at making the game popular in Ghana.

He was optimistic that the Koshen Baseball Field will be the future of Ghana Baseball, and encouraged students to play the game.

Certificates were presented to individuals who have supported the game in Ghana.

Some old players who graced the occasion and participated in the exhibition game between Ghana and Japan included Albert.K.Frimpong (Founder and First National Captain), Edward .N.N.Quaynor (Ex Deputy Captain), Jimmy Kingsley Davies (Ex Ace Pitcher)Richmond Dogbe (2nd Base)Shariff Mohamed (Outfield /Pitcher), Henry Agypeong (1st Base/Pitcher), Ismail Abayaa (Pitcher), Julius Denyo (Pitcher), Clifford Segborwotso (1st Base), Solomon Buttler (Outfield), Martin Agyeman Mensah (Catcher), Isaac K Nkansah (Pitcher/2nd Base), Richard Okai Klottey (3rb Base), George Antwi (1st Base/Dh), Michael Deku (Outfielder), Iddrisu Salifu (Outfielder), Gregory Parbey (3rd Base), Raju V Titus Varghese (Catcher), Thomas Ocran (3rd Base), Samuel Wemegah (Right Field), Gregory Parbey (3rd Base), Edem Atsu Amoah (Abinkyi) (Outfielder), Hugo Huppenbauer (2nd Base), Justice Nii Bortey Quarshie (Short Stop), George Mawuli Adjanor (Outfielder), Jamiu Salami (Catcher) and Mr Shinya Tomonari,Team Manager.

Meanwhile, the authorities of Labone Secondary School have promised to maintain the facility which was constructed by Wilkado Construction Works.

Mr. William Dogbe, Executive Director of Wilkado Construction said they have the expertise to construct modern sporting facilities and hope the government will encourage companies with the track record to put up more sporting facilities throughout the country.

By Sammy Heywood Okine