Ghana Youth Day 2012 (GYD) promises to be extra special thanks to a little helping hand from some sports stars who have their own powerful testimonies to share.
This year's Youth Day event is the Ghana High Commission’s response to the recent sad losses of life to gun and knife crimes, as well as a way to engage young people with the assistance of our supporters and collaborative community groups.
Already the ''A'' list of sports personalities who have endorsed the event is impressive and includes Luol Deng; born in Sudan and raised in the UK as a refugee and also the first African perimeter player ever to be selected to the All-Star Game.
Another basketball supremo from Africa who has given the thumbs up to the GYD is Pops Mensa Bonsu who knows exactly what the word responsibility means "The future of our youth is in our hands. We have a big responsibility."
Apart from their distinct and proud African origins, the two super athletes share another common bond as playing mates in the Team GB Basketball line up. Although they lost out on a quarter final place, they are big role models and seen as torch bearers for British and the global basketball game. Leading from the wings with support as they always do is Tullow Oil as headline sponsors in conjunction with the Ghana High Commission.
Pops Mensah Bonsu
Yet another name that has endorsed the event is 27 year old Anita Asante also of Ghanaian origin. The skillful Edgware midfielder made history as part of the first British women’s team, who kicked off the Games in Cardiff with a 1-0 win against New Zealand. Asante who hopes to visit her homeland Ghana again soon had been training alongside global stars such as Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, EPL winner Micah Richards and European champion Daniel Sturridge.
According to the former Chelsea and Arsenal star now based in Sweden, “A lot of football people don’t take the Olympics seriously but I think it can help do so much for the sport, especially the women’s game,”
True role models with real life experiences to share may not come much bigger than Justin Gatlin who has bounced back from a long ban for taking performance enhancing drugs.
At age 30, the American was the oldest medalist on the winners podium for the 100 metres where he took bronze behind Jamaican pair Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt. ''We all make mistakes but we must also learn from them so that the next generation does not repeat them'' was Gatlin's message to GYD.
The day will be broken down into segments with workshops delivered by behavioural consultants from Suban Solutions and entertainment in the form of a cultural display and performances by the leading UK urban artists, Fuse ODG, Lyrical Soldier, Mista Silva and Simply Andy.
These community groups and organisations have come together as they recognise the need for an outlet in which critical dialogues can occur between peers, role models and parents alike.
The theme for the event is ‘Our Youth, Our Society, Our Future’ as we recognise the importance of young people to the future of our community.
Source: Yaw Ampofo Ankrah
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