Youth Development through Sports (YDS), a network organisation, a not-for-profit organisation that uses sports as a tool for social development was on Wednesday launched in Accra.
YDS, which evolved from the German International Cooperation (GIZ) Project, dubbed “Youth Development through Football”, focuses on fostering relations among the member organisations and to also provide a common position nationally and internationally in addressing issues such as violence prevention, health awareness, social integration, peace building and environmental protection amongst others.
Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Youth and Sports who launched the programme, highlighted the beneficial linkage between youth and sports in national development and described the youth as the engine of the country who need support to develop their talent.
He mentioned challenges that hamper the development of the youth to include educational, health, religious and civic conflicts and said bodies such as YDS form an example of intervention to engage the youth in productive activities.
Mr Humado therefore encouraged the youth to participate actively in sports whilst assuring of his outfit’s partnership with the organisation towards resolving problems affecting the well-being of the youth.
Samson Terrefe, GIZ/YDF Coordinator explained that the idea for setting up of the organisation emanated in the aftermath of the 2006 FIFA World Cup organised in Germany and is aimed at using the social and educational potential of football for the development of the youth.
He said since the sponsorship of the scheme is due to expand at the end of June 2012, he assured of support towards the activities and programmes of YDS towards the realisation of their goals and in national development in general.
Kowdo Morgan, Chairman of the YDS Ghana Board emphasised the significance of sports as an effective vehicle for unity and developmental peace as well as its power to bring communities together.
He said sports can be used to address challenging developmental issues facing society.
Since its creation in 2008, the body, he said decided to spread their tentacles to all sporting disciplines against its initial concentration on football.
YDF is made up of a network of 13 not-for-profit organisations including the National Sports Authority, National Youth Council, Africare, Play Soccer Ghana, Right to Play, SOS Ghana, ORPED Ghana.
The rest are Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders (ACRO) Ghana, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, GIZ Regional Centre, Yes Foundation and the National Council for People with Disability. GNA