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GAA prexy says 2011 successful for athletics association

Jan 11, 2012, 4:13 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

Alhaji Dodou Joof, newly elected president of the Gambia Athletics Association (GAA), has described 2011 as a successful year for the GAA, saying: “2011 had been a successful year for athletics in the country.”

Mr Joof, also known as Capy, was given the mandate to steer the affairs of the GAA after he was unanimously elected to lead the association for the next four years.

His promotion to the GAA top position was confirmed at a congress held at the Independence Stadium in Bakau at the end of last year.

It was during that time that a new executive was born, according to GAA top officials who sent this report to The Pointsports yesterday afternoon.

Capy and his current GAA executive were all elected unopposed to lead the association and have since lined up numerous developmental plans for the next four years.

The association’s supremo deemed it prudent to divulge the achievements registered by his association over the last four years when he was in charge as secretary general.

The achievements of the association included collaboration and collective working environment for its members and with sister associations in the country for the promotion of sport in general.

The GAA has also subscribed to the idea of building the capacities of its coaches and officials to enhance remarkable performances from the athletes.

Capacity Building

Mustapha Gibba of the GAA was assigned to attend a seminar on Electronic Timing at the RDC in Nairobi, Kenya in 2011 and that same year, Babun Fatty also represented the GAA in a lecturer course level II for kid’s athletics instructor at RDC in Nairobi, Kenya, on 3 and 4 October 2011.

The current secretary general of the GAA, Aji Amira Ghanim Jagne, who succeeded Dodou Joof in this position, also attended seminar for secretary general on strategic planning and development at the RDC in Nairobi, Kenya.

“This goes to show that the GAA does not relent in its efforts when it comes to building the capacities of its personnel and coaches,” GAA officials say.

Technical Assistant Programme

Three Cuban coaches have been attached to the GAA on technical assistant for track and field events.

Two German experts and friends of the GAA since 1988, Walter Abymr, professor University of Heidelberg, and Kunta Langa, German technical expert, visited The Gambia under the German Olympic Committee and the GNOC to organize sport fitness training and advise the Ministry of Youths and Sports on the development of sports in The Gambia on attachment for 2 weeks.

Nomination and awards

It is clear that whenever success stories are registered, the people behind those successes are honoured and this is why the president of the GAA was honored with the insignia of ORG for his services to the nation.

Dodou Capi Joof has also been elected Vice President of the Athletics family in West Africa and also Treasurer for CAA Africa in recognition of his outstanding services, according to GAA officials.

Infrastructural Development

In order to supplement government’s efforts, the GAA has initiated the refurbishment of the Independence Stadium tracks through the assistance of Lamin Diack, president of the IAAF. US$360,000 was raised from the IAAF/IAAF Foundation and the OIC. The project is expected to kick-start in January 2012.

Materials and Equipment

During the period under review, the GAA was able to receive athletics materials and equipment from Norway, Germany and individual sponsors through the negotiation of the secretariat.

The materials included 30 tracksuits, 30 vests/singlet, 10 starting blocks, 12 jogging shoes, 12 running spikes (sprints, middle distance and jumping), 12 hand-timing watches, 1 electronic timing equipment, 12 javelins, 6 shot puts, 2 high jump stands, 4 high jump bars, 8 relay batons, 6 medicine balls, and fitness boxes.

Results of the international Competition

In 2011, The Gambia won 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal in the continental Africa Cadet Championship in Morocco.

The Gambia also participated in the Commonwealth and All-African Games though no medal was won but did register a respectable performance in the 100 metres and 800 metres relay.

In the 100 meters, the Gambia finished 2nd at the semi-final stage and got an automatic qualification to the London Olympic Games due to take place in 2012.

“In conclusion I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation on my behalf and on behalf of the Federation to our able and dedicated retired president Mr Lloyd Evans,” Capi Joof said.

“I also wish to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the IAAF/CAA, the coaches and the athletes, clubs, security services, and the sport journalists for their continued contributions to the development of Gambian athletics.”