Wednesday 21 November 2018

A Sporting Chance

Golden Star, in collaboration with local community partners, has brought Prestea its very first multi-purpose recreational park through the transformation of a former unauthorized dumping site.

Recreational Park complex – phase one completed!

The History of the Site

The achievement of phase one of the park complex is amazing when you consider the history of the site. Less than 3 years ago, this is what the site looked like:

Positioned at the headwaters of the Nsuo Kofi stream, the former dump site posed serious hygiene and health risks to the community. Frequent algal blooming, mosquito breeding habitats and other sanitation issues were only a few of the risks present.

The Transformation Begins

Golden Star and Local Contractors for Mining Services (LOCOMS) worked together with Traditional Leaders to bring about the transformation. The partners worked together to clean the area, import capping materials, place and compact the cover, and implement drainage.

The site during capping

The partners then agreed on a plan to develop the area into Prestea’s first multi-purpose recreational park land. 

A plan was met with the approval of local youth, sparking a local youth NGO, Maintenance Sustainability Africa (MSA), who brought their support as volunteers to prepare and grass the site. This was the first time volunteering was mainstreamed in the area.

Grass preparation and planting

The Maintenance Sustainability Africa team at site

Grassing completed

In just a few months, the Golden Star team had installed two multi-purpose courts (one covered), a training facility and male and female change-houses and bathrooms.

Multi-purpose courts and training facility during construction and at completion!

The phase one facilities are part of a wider plan for the recreational park complex, which will later also host kiosks, a restaurant, a lecture room and a children’s playground. The courts, initially marked up for basketball, will also be marked to allow multi-purpose use for other sports, such as volleyball and futsal (five-a-side football).

General arrangement plan of the Prestea recreational park complex

Giants of Africa Basketball Clinic

In October 2018, Golden Star, in partnership with Giants of Africa, hosted a three-day basketball clinic for selected basketball players from across Ghana to commemorate the official opening of the recreational facility.

The clinic was conducted by Godwin Owinje, co-founder of Giants of Africa, and Michael Akuboh, a scout for the NBA team, Toronto Raptors. 

Godwin Owinje commented: “This is a world class facility that will help promote basketball in Ghana. The biggest problem in most African countries when it comes to growing basketball is the lack of facilities. I think that what Golden Star has done is a great start.” 

Traditional Leaders and Golden Star General Manager Ahmed-Salim Adam attend the official opening

Traditional Leaders receive basketball coaching

Creating a Pathway for Youth Through Sport

Creating a pathway for youth through sport is the mantra of Giants of Africa (GOA). 

The GOA mission is to use basketball as a means to educate and enrich the lives of African youth and grow the game of basketball within Africa through quality facilities, gear and coaches. 

GOA camps create awareness and support for underprivileged children and young adults and place emphasis on hard work, accountability, honest living and positivity.

Masai Ujiri, founder of Giants of Africa speaks from the heart about his mission: “Dream. It’s okay to dream, and it’s okay to dream big.”

Growing up playing basketball in Africa, Ujiri realized the abundance of talent in his homeland – but these players were often referred to as raw, lacking experience in the game and lacking access to coaching and facilities. Ujiri drew upon these personal experiences and founded GOA in 2003 – a non-profit organization with the goal of changing this reality. 

Today the GOA Top 50 Camp has developed players at the local, national, international and professional levels. To date over 80 campers attended high school or university in the United States, and over 100 attended university in Nigeria. In addition, nearly 20 former participants have played on junior teams in clubs throughout Europe – 30 of which have played on the Nigerian Junior National team, and nearly 55 have attended the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in Africa. 

Image courtesy of Giants of Africa

What has this opportunity meant to the selected Prestea basketball trainees, trainers and teaching staff?

Emmanuel Nyadedzor, a student of Prestea Senior High Technical School
“As a basketball player, I was looking forward to continuing with my training when my dad got transferred to Prestea. But to my disappointment, I couldn’t train because there was no basketball court in the community. Now with the help of Golden Star, I have been able to train consistently.  Golden Star basketball training has really helped me to acquire new skills as a basketball player.”  

Solomon Arthur, a student of Prestea Senior High Technical School
“I was selected during the drill at Tarkwa because of my experience and performance. I learned new drills like sliding, javelin passes, bounce passes, layup and many more. The trainer taught me to take the training seriously if we want to be like Michael Jordan and Steven Curry. I thank Golden Star for giving us the opportunity to train like professional basketball players. If we are well trained, we will achieve something profitable in life”.

The trainer, David Asangalisah
“My experience with the trainees was very interesting. For me, the initiative is very good. Basketball is a discipline that engages youth and keeps them on the right path. I would say a big thank you to Golden Star for giving me the rare opportunity to train the boys.”

Abdul Fahad, Fynn Upgrade International School
“My experience during the training was very helpful because I was able to learn new skills to help me improve my abilities.   With the training given, I now know I’m ready to meet my opponent.  The trainer related so well to us and I really enjoyed learning from him. I think Golden Star is doing a great job by training the youth in the community.”

Samuel Nana Armoo, the headmaster of Prestea Senior High Technical School

“Basketball isn’t well known to the people of Prestea, Bogoso and other villages close by. It is however, well known in Takoradi, Accra and Kumasi as they play league matches. The basketball court will give local youth a recreational activity and it will help to keep them out of trouble.  As a basketball trainer, I think this will help my students to develop their skills in basketball too. Golden Star has been doing well, and having a court here is a credit to the company.”

If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit For more information on Giants of Africa and their programs, please visit