Aug 26, 2009, 7:18 AM
A week-long Beach Soccer Coaching Course organised by the Gambia Football Association (GFA), in partnership with Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), for the first time in The Gambia, on 27 May 2011 ended at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.
The course brought together 27 participants from ten sports zones in the Greater Banjul Area, Beach Soccer Committee and coaches from the regions.
Jammeh E.K. Bojang, secretary general of the Gambia Football Association (GFA) speaking on behalf of Seedy M.B. Kinteh, President of the GFA, said: "We feel sad for the death of the late Uncle Badou Jassey (chairman of the referees committee). His sad demise came at a time when we are taking up a giant steps in the new sports in The Gambia."
He added: "We are happy that FIFA has given us the opportunity to learn the rules of Beach Soccer by providing us with Mr Gustavo Zloccowick from Brazil.
"We are happy that we have got another sport in The Gambia where we can showcase our talents."
Mr Bojang assured the course director that The Gambia will qualify for the next Beach Soccer World Cup in 2013.
Jammeh thanked the course director for coming all the way from Brazil to share his knowledge and experience with us and finally urged the participants to venture into Beach Soccer with dedication.
Gustavo Zloccowick, FIFA Course Director, began his remarks by extending his condolence to the family of the late Uncle Badou Jassey and the entire sport fraternity.
"This course has been a great experience for me as a person and also for my profession," he said. "I am not surprised by the way I was received in The Gambia. This is an unforgettable moment for me though this is my first time in The Gambia and I hope to come back to The Gambia not as a course director but as a tourist with my family."
He said further: "I feel great because it has been a great week. The participants were ready to learn and move the sports forward in The Gambia because they have shown that during the course."
Mr Zloccowick said he is ready to give support to The Gambia whenever his service is needed.
Speaking on behalf of Minister of Youth and Sports Sheriff Gomez, National Sports Council executive secretary Mamudou Max Jallow said the training programme was a unique selling point "in our effort to popularise Beach Soccer in the country".
Jallow expressed his profound gratitude and appreciation to the world's football governing body FIFA for organising "this very important and landmark training programme in the history of the GFA".
He described the training as a remarkable achievement and another milestone in the realisation of the Vision 2020 and in the country's effort to achieve excellence in sport while encouraging officials of the GFA to follow the engaging trend in football around the globe and find ways and means to attract crowds to league matches.
Alagie Nyassi, a participant at the course, gave the vote of thanks on behalf of his colleagues, while Abdou Salaam Jammeh, assistant secretary general of the GFA, chaired the closing ceremony.
At the end of the course, participants and course coordinators were awarded with certificates, while the FIFA course director was presented with a Gambian jersey by the president of the GFA coupled with other gifts by the course participants.