Sports Tourism in Ghana opened an exciting new chapter as the first-ever inland Beach Soccer tournament kicked off in the Okere District of Okuapeman.
Twenty (20) major towns in the Eastern Region including Aburi, Mampong, Tutu, Dawu and Mamfe have gathered to compete for the historic tournament – with the trophy sponsored by Betboro, Wilaman Investment, Eddy's Pizza, Rock Energy Drink and Last Chance Travel & Tours.
The Odwira Beach Soccer Cup which is under the auspices of the Okuapenhene Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III in partnership with Beach Soccer Ghana and the Ghana Football Association is a novel competition.
The opening day drew huge numbers from within the Eastern Region enclave and beyond as fans witnessed exciting matches between Nsawam and Larteh, Apirede and Aseseeso, Ahwerase vs Abotakyi and Obosomase vs Abonse.
The kick off coincided with one of the busiest days at the picturesque Asenema Waterfalls located a few minutes from the newly created Beach Soccer sand pitch.
Hundreds of students and tourists as well as locals were accorded the experience of witnessing the thrills of a live Beach Soccer game for the very first time for free as an incentive to attract them back when Beach Soccer becomes a regular feature at the venue.
In a brief address to the media, the Director of Tourism in the Eastern Region - Fred Hansen confirmed that the Ghana Tourism Authority will partner Beach Soccer Ghana and the Okere District Assembly in the creation of a sustainable Beach Soccer League and other disciplines with the potential of attracting international tourists and creating jobs for the local youth.
The competition enters the quarter and semi-final stages on Saturday with the host town Asenema as well as the Festival hosts Akropong still in contention for the ultimate prize sponsored by Betboro Ghana.