THE national junior handball team, Black Fingers, left Accra yesterday for the Togolese capital of Lome for the African Zone 2 &3 Handball Youth Championships.
Scheduled to start from June 30 through to July 6, the championship, organised by the French Handball Federation (FHF) in collaboration with the African Handball Confederation (AHC) will also have Mali, Nigeria, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire and Niger joining the host Togo for the one-week competition.
Before their departure, the Director-General of the National Sports Authority (NSA) Professor Peter Twumasi, paid a visit to the team's training ground at the multi-purpose court of the Accra Sports Stadium to promise them of his outfit's support - urging them to defend the flag of Ghana and return with the ultimate.
"You are our stars for the future and as we prepare for the hosting of the 2023 African Games (AG), we are also focused on preparing all our teams for the games and you are one of the teams who will do us the honours at the games."
Head coach of the team, George Bankole, thanked Prof Twumasi for the visit and well wishes and stated that as a new team being put together for the 2023 African Games, he would do his best to at least return with a medal - if not winning the ultimate.
"This is the dream team for the 2023 AG I am putting together, the Handball Association has a four-year programme with the aim of grooming the current crop of players into the senior national team and help the association present a strong team at the AG in the next four years."
The championship, which is also a developmental project for the youth, would see the training of two young coaches and referees from participating countries to help spread the game in their various countries.
Ghana would be opening its tournament account against Mali before playing Nigeria.