The Northern Regional capital, Tamale will shake this weekend when the Vitting School Park host its first Tigo Community Soccer event.
Sixteen communities have already signed up for the biggest and most participatory community based football activity in the country.
All sixteen teams will present fifteen players each and two coaches to compete for bragging rights, cash and medals in Tamale.
The participating Communities are Teshiegu, Sakasaka, Vittin, Lamashegu, Gumani, Kavali, and Nyoni. The rest are Zobagli,Kukuo,chagli, Jisonayil, Vittin Estate, Kaphoni Estate, Lamakara, Shehawa, Fuo.
For football scouts and agents heading to Tamale this weekend however, there seems to be a very poignant reason the northern belt is attractive.
“Ghana has had many football greats in the past and even at present. Most of the legendary names like Abdul Razak, Mohammed Polo, Abedi Pele, Baba Nyara and many of the great names are all people of Northern extraction. So coming to the north holds a lot of excitement for the scouts and Fifa agents who are now permanent fixtures on this tournament” said Nana Yaw Osei Darkwa, the national co-ordinator of the Tigo Community Soccer.
While the scouts intend to find the next Abedi Pele from the North, Tamale itself is agog with excitement of the Community care aspect of the Tigo Community Soccer project.
Dennis Boateng, the Brand Image Specialist of Tigo in Northern Ghana says “ residents of Tamale will be screened free of charge of lifestyle related health conditions like High Blood Pressure and Diabetes . There will also be a blood donation exercise to augment the blood bank of the Tamale General Hospital. All donors will be refreshed and certified.” Dennis Boateng said.
The health screening campaign and blood donation exercise have become integral to the community penetration approach of Tigo. So far, hospitals in Kumasi, Mampong and Sunyani have benefited from at least 150 pints of blood and more than 2000 people have been screened since Tigo Community Soccer kicked off on March 28th in Kumasi.
Aside the health and football benefits, Nana Darkwa believes Tamale will enjoy Tigo Community Soccer for its fun aspects too.
“We always have the women’s penalty shootout and the Azonto dance competition where we give out prizes. So whether you are a footballer, a spectator or a blood donor or a patient, you have a reason to come and smile at the Vitting park because you have Tigo” concluded Nana Darkwa.