The National Unity Games is a scheduled annual affair which brings together under one grand canopy the youthful sportsmen and women of Ghana for a period. Since the inception of various sporting disciplines in Ghana, the National Unity Games has always been the rallying point where many sporting disciplines are organised by the country through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Sports Authority to unearth talents, promote and develop sports.
The Festival has over the years lived under different names: Foundation Day, Revolutionary Anniversary Games, and now the National Unity Games for this year. The 2011 National Unity Games, which takes place in Accra, and is scheduled from the 16th -26th July, will see about 5,000 men and women vying for honour in various disciplines.
The Festival through the years has also taken many forms: serious competitive games with nearly all the disciplines of sports that are played in the country, fun games with little or no regard for athletics fitness and token festivals with only one or two disciplines of sports with culture taking the place of performance.
Attempts have been made several times in the past to rotate the Festival among the country’s ten regional administrative capitals. This, however, has not been successful for various reasons. As a result, all past Festivals have been celebrated in Accra, the national capital. The only exceptions were 1972, 1985, 1997 and 2004 when it was held in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
The essence of the National Unity Games is to provide an ideal setting for the youth to honour their land of birth on the wings of sport .It is also to give the youth from the various regions the opportunity to learn to live together as members of one grand family.
The Festival also provides an opportunity for technical personnel of the countrys’s sports administrative and the various national sports associations for talent hunting to strengthen the national teams for the various disciplines preparing for international competitions.
The 1989 Festival was held with a series of innovations. Token guest teams of footballers, table tennis players and athletics from a sister West African and Nigeria were specially invited to share the joy of festivities and compete alongside their Ghanaian brothers and sisters.
The festival dubbed ‘National Unity Games’ will assemble over 5,000 sportsmen and women to participate in twenty(20) disciplines namely taekwondo, tennis, handball ,colts soccer, judo, basketball, swimming, table tennis, disabled sports.
The rest are karate-do, athletics, boxing, volleyball, badminton, netball, scrabble, weightlifting, cycling, hockey and chess. The festival will kick off in July, in Accra on the theme ‘Unifying the people through Sports’.
The event is expected to draw the crème de la crème of the sporting fraternity, Diplomats, Politicians, members of the clergy and the general public to a very colourful event that will feature cultural performances and taekwondo displays.