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Soccer Stars Kick Off Ghana School’s 45th Anniversary Celebrations

By Lana Ghandour
Soccer Stars Kick Off Ghana School’s 45th Anniversary Celebrations

Ghanaian soccer star Abedi Pele, center, poses with Head of School Dennis Larkin and several LCS students (photo: LCS).
Half a dozen of Ghana’s most celebrated soccer stars joined Lincoln Community School (LCS) to literally “kick off” its 45th anniversary celebrations at the Family Picnic Day last summer.
Founded in 1968 by two American families residing in Accra, school enrollment at LCS has grown from just eight students to more than 700. The Family Picnic, attended by parents, teachers, and students is an annual affair, bringing together the Lincoln Community to connect and enjoy family fun together on campus.
In his welcoming comments, Dennis Larkin, Head of School, reminded participants that “Lincoln Community School prospers thanks to the wonderful support of the entire Lincoln community, including our distinguished LCS Black Stars Alumni who are here today to kick off our 45th anniversary celebration. Beginning in 1968 with an enrollment of 8 students, LCS today serves 740 students from over 60 nationalities. We look ahead to our successes this year and in the future while we celebrate our 45 years of service to the community."
The kick off was especially important because former student Jamil Maraby organized a soccer clinic, in which students could be coached by some of the country’s finest soccer players. Mr. Maraby is Chairman of the Ghana Football Association’s Events Committee and Chief Marketing Officer at Lizzy Sports Complex, a sports and recreation facility set up in 2011 by renowned Ghanaian athlete (and former Captain of the French National Team) Marcel Desailly.
In an email interview, Mr. Desailly explained that he feels “satisfied and fulfilled” that Lizzy Sports has provided young Ghanaian men, women, and families with unique sporting opportunities. “If I had not traveled to France as a young boy I would not have had the opportunity to become who I am today,” he explained. Mr. Desailly, who was made Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1998, is a supporter of the 1GOAL Education for All campaign and serves as a Lifetime ambassador for OrphanAid Africa, a charity supporting abandoned children in Ghana.
During the Family Picnic Day, members of the Namibian Under 20 National Team as well as two coaches from Lizzy Sports Complex led the soccer training, which proved very popular with the LCS students.
Special guest soccer stars at the Family Picnic day also included Ali Kwame Maouas, an LCS Alumnus from the late 1980s and former Black Star Under 23 player, and Mohammed Gargo, a former member of the Ghanaian men’s national team, bronze medal winner at the 1992 Summer Olympics, and gold medalist at the 1991 FIFA Under 17 World Championship. Odartey Lamptey, a former striker (1990-2008) for Aston Villa, PSV Eindhoven, Coventry City and the Ghanaian national team, also took part in the session. “It was fun because the kids really seemed to enjoy themselves and were very enthusiastic to be participating,” said Mr. Lamptey.
Parents, teachers, and students at the picnic were treated to an even greater surprise when Abedi Ayew (known professionally as Abedi Pele), a former Ghana international and captain who achieved international renown in France’s premier league with Lille OSC and Olympique de Marseille, turned up at the football clinic.
The morning culminated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for new stadium seating on campus, and an exhibition game with LCS varsity soccer players.
During the 2013-2014 school year, LCS will be hosting a series of activities to celebrate its 45th anniversary. Activities on the agenda include artistic, academic, and cultural events, such as a discussion forum on 3-5 March 2014, open to the public, by internationally acclaimed clinical psychologist and author Michael Thompson on the subjects of children, schools and parenting.
LCS will also be hosting a student-organized forum of the Association of International Schools in Africa’s (AISA) Global Issues Service Summit next weekend (13-15 February), bringing together students and educators from more than 20 international schools across Africa and beyond to share best practices and reflect on global problems such as water shortages, environmental degradation, infectious diseases, and the loss of ecosystems.
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