of The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC), Alhaji Dodou ‘Capi’ Joof, has
called on the government to make it a policy that would see new schools have
Mr. Joof said this would expose children to different sports at an early age giving them the opportunity to make a choice among the different sports without limiting their talents and skills on one sport.
He made these remarks during the visit to State House, of the delegation that participated in the recently concluded 12th African Games held in Morocco.
The Gambia was among the 52 African countries that took part in the 12th Edition of the African Games and was represented at the Games by Athletics, Basketball 3 X 3, Beach Volleyball, Judo and Swimming respectively.
It was the first time that The Gambia won gold in any team sport at a high level continental or global level and also the second time Gina is winning Gold for the Gambia with the first being at the Islamic Games. Most importantly, the timing for Gina has earned her qualification to the World Games in Doha next month and the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.
Other athletes in beach volleyball and other sports, will have to attend other continental and Olympic qualification competitions for the possibility of gaining their qualification for the Tokyo 2020.
Mr. Joof stated that sports in The Gambia may have been viewed in the past as irrelevant to national development but he assured president Barrow that sports positively contribute to a wide range of shared outcomes which offer real support and contribute to the well-being and quality of life of our diverse communities.
“The unremitting strive and commitment of the Gambia National Olympic Committee to ensure athletes are adequately prepared paid great dividend as the performances put up by these vivacious and spirited athletes were unimaginably impressive” he highlighted.
He noted that the overall achievement of the delegation speaks volumes about the potential in our sports. “It is indeed a great honour for such an achievement to be experienced during my tenure as President of the GNOC. We are indeed very proud of these our energetic, vibrant, self-motivated, success driven athletes who are relentless in their efforts to bring glory to the Gambia.”
He expressed his office’s readiness to continue to collaborate with the International Olympic Committee and other parent partners to ensure that all budgets allocated are exhausted in supporting the athletes’ preparations for qualification events, but however, said they continue to seek government support in this direction through the ministry of youth and sports as well as friends of The Gambia to ensure we jointly support to continue winning and celebrating more medals.
He said while their mission as a National Olympic Committee is to develop, promote and protect the Olympic Movement, their objective is to develop athletes and supports the development of sport for all programmes especially high performance sport in The Gambia.
“When we were elected in late 2016, we outlined key area that are critical for our sports including athletes development, capacity building and improvement of infrastructure,” he said, adding that these are fundamental pillars within their mandate as an Olympic Committee to support the preparation of Athletes for Olympic Games Preparation.
“However, it is the responsibility of Government to build infrastructure and also to facilitate the participation of the various sports during this process especially when it is non- Olympic Games qualifiers”, he went on, saying they have worked closely with the ministry to ensure our athletes meaningfully compete in these Games.
“As long as the Government and the Gambia National Olympic continue to work as a team the future of Gambian Sport is bright”, he observed.
According to him, The Gambia could have had more athletes and more medals if we are able to expose them to more competitions and better facilities for the various sports.
The GNOC has made strides to expose some of these athletes, by securing Scholarship through Olympic Solidarity with the objective of assisting them technically and financially in their preparation and qualification for the Games of TOKYO 2020.
He said GNOC will continue to seek for training opportunities for all athletes and also capacity building programs for coaches and sports administrators. It is through the building of capacity that coaches can be able to develop better athletes.
“Our youths have a lot of talent. It would be a shame if we don’t provide them the opportunity to excel. We have no doubt of the good intentions of the government for sports; however, we need to use our relationships with friends of the Gambia to develop our sporting infrastructure”, he also said.