It is an academy affiliated with the New Nations School but it is open to all kids and youth with an interest in sports. Situated at Ashale-Botwe in Accra, this academy is driven by the sheer passion of helping the youth make it “big” in sports.
The youth and sports: New Nations Sports Academy is redefining talent development in Ghana
Academy football is still a very sporadic phenomenon in Ghana. It is still a venture Ghana as a nation is somewhat criminally acquainted to. But with the various renaissance in sports, the New Nations Sports Academy is here to change the outlook of sports in the country.
The founder of this remarkable initiative, Isaac John KpiKpi is keen on giving children/youth a chance to see a future aside from white-collar jobs as most people have been accustomed to.
He wants to drive forward an initiative wired at making the youth believe in sports as a profession too and a lucrative one at that. The academy has two main divisions which include the New Nations Soccer Academy (NNSA) and the New Nations Basketball Academy (NBA).
“This academy will provide children with various options going into their colleges and also enable them to apply for scholarships using sports. For the kids who would like to pursue sports professionally, we want them to access the right upbringing and training. There’s a lot of opportunities for parent who enroll their kids into the academy because that enhances their kid’s chances of being accepted into a plethora of foreign universities. It is open to all children with a passion for sports. We have CAF Licensed coaches, former players and assistant coaches from the Ghana Premier League as well as a coach who works closely with Black Queens’ Mercy Tagoe at Berry Ladies FC. She is particularly in charge of our girls’ soccer team," Isaac elaborates.
He also stressed on the unavailability of professional basketball coaches in Ghana for their basketball students. “For basketball, it is harder to find many professional coaches because there aren’t many professional basketball entities in Ghana” he cited. He revealed that at the moment they take basketball coaches whose CVs are tailored more in the direction of semi-professional basketball leagues like Dunk. He also made it clear that basketball is still an emerging sport in Ghana and though the academy has long-term goals for them, it will be a gradual yet goal-driven process for now.
Expatiating on the long-term goals for the soccer team, Isaac’s dream is to build a strong and formidable team of all age groups that is “tactically astute and we hope that it will allow students to find scholarships opportunities to play in the foreign universities” He adds.
New Nations School like other academies, would like to register some of their talents in the Black Stars one day. They are closely affiliated with the various CAF bodies and the Ghana Football Association. They are also planning to help those in their soccer academy to participate in the GOTHIA cup, one of the world’s largest Youth Cup in Sweden in the next year or two. This, they believe will be an opportunity for the kids to be scouted.
Speaking to one of the coaches, Michael Brown, he cited that the New Nations Academy projects good values and is built on a vibrant religious culture. Michael also added that the academy is very well structured and its future will be an amazing one for Youth Sports in Ghana.
Oman Aziz, Nabil and David described the academy as great and a serene environment for sports. They all looked up to Cristiano Ronaldo and hoped to be like him one day.
A rather interesting sight to witness was Renee who was the goalkeeper for the Under-10 soccer team.
“I started training with New Nations just last week. Football to me is a more easier sport and since I am not tall it is easier for me to goal-keep and also, I am not as fast as the others. My role model is Messi” She said. When asked if she knew any female footballer, she emphasizes that unfortunately she doesn’t “Anytime I put on a sports channel, it is always the men’s game I see” Renee added.
Princess from the under 16 girl’s soccer team also added that she played football because of the amazing emotions around the game and how it shapes a player’s growth as well. “you form teammates. You make friends, it builds you together and basically, it trains your mind and body. If I ever have the chance to go Pro I will but neither will it be a big deal if I don’t. It’ a fun sport and I genuinely love it. I look up to Messi, Rapinoe, Marta, Pogba to Mbappe because they are really good. I make time to watch football most of the time and occasionally” Princess adds.
Victoria also sighted the many opportunities she sees in football as well as learning it at the New Nations Academy. She’s currently brainstorming on whether she’d like to go Pro one day or not.
The Academy is still in its early stages but they are determined to give youth sports a major facelift particularly in football and basketball. The academy is open to everyone interested in sports and there’s an official website to enroll at.
They had their inaugural opening on Saturday, November 6, to formally launch the academy and great sports personalities like Laryea Kingston and Mercy Tagoe graced the occasion.
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