Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and MP for Hohoe Dr. Bernice Adiku Heloo has promised football lovers in Hohoe that the defunct Hohoe sports stadium will be rehabilitated within the shortest possible time.
“As a first step, I will get the stadium cleared of weeds and debris and I will provide standard goal posts with nets to make the stadium usable in the short term” she told the expectant crowd.
Dr. Heloo has also promised to collaborate effectively with the Municipal Assembly and other stakeholders to ensure the stadium project which has been stalled for over 10 years is given a new lease of life.
Currently, football teams make use of substandard school fields to practice their sports, a situation that has contributed in no small measure to the demise of the sports in the municipality.
Dr. Heloo who has made it a priority to support football and other sports in the constituency said football is a big business today creating very lucrative jobs for talented young people and she knows Hohoe has abundant football talents hence her resolve to give lovers of the global sports an opportunity to showcase their God given talents.
She has shown goodwill towards football in the constituency by donating several jerseys, footballs and other accessories to football clubs in the municipality in her quest to encourage the clubs.
The Hon Deputy Minister has directed football clubs to put themselves in readiness to compete for an MP’s trophy to usher in a new era of active professional football in the municipality and beyond. The move is to rekindle in the youth a passion for the sports that has become a big business and a lucrative source of employment worldwide.
Hohoe in the 80s and 90s was a hub of active football. Two major clubs Hustlers (Horzay) and United (Una) entertained football enthusiasts at the weekends as they played in the first division.
However, lack of investment in the sports saw these two great teams fizzled out and with them the wonderful game of soccer. Today, Hohoe is a mere shadow of itself; the glorious days are long gone.
Though the municipality has about five teams competing in the second division and a few in the sub middle league, enthusiasm in the game is at its lowers ebb; no club here has been able to make it pass that stage in over 30 years.
In 2006, in an attempt to give football in the municipality a new lease of life, the then Municipal Chief Executive Hon John Peter Amewu began an ambitious programme to build a standard stadium for Hohoe, the assembly with the tacit support of the Gbi Traditional Council with the leadership of Togbega Gabusu IV King and over lord of Gbi traditional area and some land owners, secured about 30 acres of land for the project.
The stadium project which was to be funded initially from the Assembly’s share of the District Assembly Common Fund began in earnest with a fence wall but the project stalled with the exit of the NPP from office in 2008. Since then, cement blocks and iron rods sent to sight have been stolen.
Sports journalists, football enthusiast and concerned citizens in the municipality have since mounted a spirited campaign to get the Assembly continue the project, alas!
The current Municipal Chief Executive Hon Peter Worlanyo Abomah has given indications that he will make the stadium a priority due to its far reaching benefits for the youth. This move is a clear departure from the posture of his two predecessors – who showed very little interest in the project.
This promise is yet another test case for the Hon. MP who has been unrelenting in delivering on her promises, though some football fans are skeptical and simply referred to the gesture as a political talk in an election year for campaign purposes, but several others say if it comes from the Hon MP then it will be done because she has so far proven to be a politician one can trust to deliver on her promises earning her the popular accolade “Mommy”.