Kaladan Park, a once-vibrant sports facility constructed in the 70s by Gen Akwasi Amankwah Afrifa, has played a pivotal role in the development of sports in Tamale. Originally designed as a multipurpose venue for football, athletics, basketball, and volleyball, it has witnessed memorable matches involving prominent teams like Real Tamale United (RTU), Kumasi Ashanti Kotoko, Hearts of Oak, Aduana Stars, and Great Olympics.
RTU, in particular, utilized Kaladan Park for Premier League and Division One competitions, creating an atmosphere where colts football and basic school games thrived. The facility boasted working offices, ground stands, a commentary box, VIP lounge, popular stands, a grass pitch, and athletic tracks. However, a turning point occurred when RTU relocated to the newly constructed Aliu Mahama Stadium for the 2008 AFCON.
Real Tamale United has etched its name in history, leaving an indelible mark with the iconic Kaladan Park. For football enthusiasts, memories of RTU are closely tied to their days at this historic venue.
Fast forward to today, and Kaladan Park lies in a state of disrepair, serving as grazing grounds for sheep, goats, and cattle. The once lush grass pitch, ground stands, volleyball and basketball pitches, and athletic tracks have all succumbed to erosion, rendering them non-existent.
Despite its current dilapidated state, Kaladan Park holds significant potential. With the capacity to accommodate up to five football pitches, it presently hosts Tamale Metro Juvenile games, Division Three, Division Two, and Women’s Division One matches.
To breathe new life into Kaladan Park and foster sports development in Tamale, there is an urgent need to invest in modern Astro Turf. Such an upgrade would not only prevent further encroachment but also provide a reliable surface for major league matches. Additionally, the installation of Astro Turf would contribute to minimizing injuries, thereby extending the football careers of players who utilize the facility.
The revitalization of Kaladan Park through the introduction of Astro Turf aligns with the broader goal of enhancing sports infrastructure in Tamale. By investing in this project, the community can reclaim a once-thriving sports hub, fostering the growth of football and other sports while providing a modern and safe environment for athletes and spectators alike.
Abede Pele, Gargo Mohammed, Hamza Mohammed (with a history in all National teams), Gbadamosi, Kwaku Addai, Anane Kobo, Abubakari Damba, Karim Star Boy, Nurudeen Raja (Ghana’s first player at FC Barcelona), Mohammed Choo, Wakaso Mubarak, Majeed Waris, and others graced Kaladan Park.
Alhaji Abu Hassan Rhyzo, the current Northern Regional Football Association Chairman, also played at Kaladan Park during his Great Eagles FC days. These players have collectively contributed to national teams, emphasizing the need to preserve the roots of football for future generations and avoid any damage to their legacy.
In conclusion, Kaladan Park’s journey from a bustling sports facility to its current state as grazing grounds highlights the pressing need for intervention. The installation of modern Astro Turf emerges as a practical solution, promising to not only revive the park but also contribute significantly to sports development in Tamale. It’s time to act and give Kaladan Park the upgrade it deserves.
By: Musah Abdul-Rahim (www.sportsmrnews.com)