Dec 2, 2008, 6:04 AM
Dodou Capi Joof, president of the Gambia Athletics Association (GAA), has said they are working with the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) in preparing a plan of activity that will run into 2016 to send athletes to high performing centres for training.
Saying he has started drafting the document for the training arrangement, Capi Joof disclosed that they are working at getting more qualified athlete representatives and sending them to high performing centres.
They are also working on getting some more international relations so that by the next Olympics The Gambia will have a huge representation in the Games, who would also win medals.
The Gambia was well represented in the London Olympic Games, he said, adding that the recent Games has served as a motivation for Gambian athletes, which was why in 2008 he went through the trouble of finding scholarship for the nation’s two athletes to go for training at high performing centres, which has paid dividends.
Mr Joof seized the opportunity to refute rumours that Saruba Colley had absconded in London, saying “she is with her two sisters” in London. “She has a visa that is valid until November,” he reaffirmed.
“We are not speculating that she absconded or whatever until in November when her visa expires,” he said, adding that she would be back.
Saruba Colley is not the only one that decided to stay, he disclosed, saying that some of the officials are also in London spending their holidays and she has the same right to do so.
Their only disappointment is that she should have told them she wanted to stay, Capi said, adding that nobody was going to stop her from staying because she has a visa to stay for a while.
“Let us stop the speculation until at the end of the expiration of her visa,” Joof said. “If she is not here by then we know she is not coming back.”
“As we speak now I am working on getting a scholarship for her,” Capi disclosed further, saying he had spoken to a friend of him in Dubai who is arranging a scholarship for her to go to America, an ongoing process Saruba knows about.
This is why he believes Saruba will return home, he said, adding that they are trying to encourage all good athletes to go to high performing centres to prepare them not only for the Olympics but also for the African and Commonwealth Games.
“It is going to be disappointing if she did not come back,” he said. “Let her not be convinced to stay because it is not good for her future, especially she being a police officer.”