and one of the two coaches of Gambia’s athletic team that participated at the
recently ended Commonwealth games in Gold Coast, Australia have been demanding
the settlement of their allowances from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Mariama Sallah said since the team’s return some two weeks ago, they have been waiting and expecting the ministry to pay their allowances which was in fact supposed to be paid either before leaving or during the games. This reporter has tried to reach the ministry to comment on the story but to no avail.
Mariama said she is still waiting for the government to pay her allowance because they are supposed to pay it. She said she returned since last week and it is now more than a week her allowance is still not paid. “I don’t even know how much money I am supposed to be given as allowance. Other athletes and coaches that participated in the Commonwealth games from other countries received $100 a day and some received $200 a day but I cannot tell how much will be mine. I spent more than three weeks in Australia with only ten thousand dalasi which was given to us by the Gambia National Olympic even though it was not their responsibility to do it,’’ she said.
Coach Sallah said they are not happy about the way they are being treated, saying the ministry must ensure that they are paid as soon as possible. “I don’t know for others but for me, I am not going to let it to go like that. I must be paid my allowance.”
The Gambia was represented at the games by six track and field athletes with only Gina Bass who headlined the team in the opening stages of the 100m category in an event in which virtually all her male compatriots crashed out.
Sprinting with an impressive 11.50 seconds, the country’s track queen came second in the first round earning her an automatic qualification with the standard timing to the semi-finals where she came third on 11.64 seconds, just one place shy of reaching the women’s 100m finals.