Tribute to the late Alhaji Abdou Aziz Ceesay

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

(Tuesday September 06, 2016 Issue)

ALHAJI ABDUL AZIZ CEESAY was born in the mid 1930’s and went to St Mary’s School from 1944 to 1947 before moving to Armitage School. In 1948 he was granted a Government Scholarship to the Methodist Boy’s High School. On completion of his high school education in 1952 he taught at the St Mary’s school as an unqualified teacher.  In 1956, he was offered a Government Scholarship to study at the Institute of Education in Bristol University specializing in Physical Education.  He returned to the Gambia in 1961, and taught at the Crab Island School where he produced well-known athletes like Edrissa Chico Njie, Sheikh Omar Faye and the great Momodou Biri Biri Njie.

 He was very influential and together with other teachers and sports personalities like Mr Eunson, Mr Emmanuel Nying, Rev Francis Forbes, Master Sillah the Bathurst Athletics Club was formed in 1958. He was appointed the 1st Coach of the club. He coached outstanding athletes like Jarvis Turner, George Gomez, Aziz Coker, Dodou Joof, Pierre Jallow, Sheikh Faye to name few.  In 1965, he initiated the formation of the Secondary School’s Sports Association as an independent organization. The Secondary Schools Sports Association is going from strength to strength still producing potential National Athletes for the Gambia Athletics Association.

In 1965, he was appointed Education Officer and transferred to Yundum College as lecturer in Physical Education.  While at the College, he nurtured a lot of Students as responsible and disciplined Physical Education Teachers. One such student was Mr Cherno Touray, retired Director of Youth and Sports and the late Alhaji Sait Mbye who was also Assistant Director of Youth and Sports.

In 1967, he was also influential in the formation of the first Gambia Round ball Association incorporating the Volleyball, Basketball and Handball Sports.  This was made possible with the assistance of the American Peace Corps Volunteers.

Alhaji Abdul Aziz Ceesay was a very kind person and a good motivator. When he retired from teaching he started a very profitable business in Poultry but continued to generously support sports and youth programs.

 In 2008 he was awarded the GNOC President’s Award in recognition of his unique contribution to Sports and Sports development in the Gambia and with that award he was inducted in the Gambia’s Sports HALL OF FAME.

Those of us who are still around and went through his outstanding coaching and keep fit exercises can vouch for his passion for excellence, disciple and call for respect for each other at all times. He was tough but very friendly and understanding.  We are saddened by his demise but the Almighty Allah knows better and needs him more than we do. May he reward him abundantly for everything he did for the youths of our beloved Country.

Alhaji Abdul Aziz Ceesay died at the Wolverhampton Hospital in the West Midlands of England on Tuesday 9th August and was buried at the Sukuta cemetery in the Gambia on Thursday 18th August 2016.

May his soul rest in peace!

Author: George Gomez