Aug 5, 2009, 2:57 AM
The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) at the weekend met with six sports associations that have been selected to take part in the 2014 Commonwealth Games to take place in Glasgow from 23 July to 3 August 2012, Pointsport can confirm.
Athletics, boxing, judo, table tennis, weightlifting, and wrestling are the six sports from which associations in The Gambia have been chosen by the GNOC to represent the country in the next Commonwealth Games.
Representatives of the aforementioned sports for the Games converged at the Olympic House in Bakau to take part in the first consultative meeting under the supervision of Lawrence Bruce, executive secretary of the GNOC.
Bruce engaged the participants in a two-and-a-half hour consultative meeting designed to give orientation to the associations expected to take part in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
He was available to talk to this reporter about the importance of the weekend’s meeting shortly after the get-together. He said: “This meeting was basically organised to provide orientation to the associations that are affected in Commonwealth Games areas in Glasgow 2014.
“We have invited them to consult with them regarding what is expected of them, what their responsibilities are going to be and also to enlighten them on the participation process that we are putting in place.
“It is important that we all come together in a very collective environment to discuss how we are going to select the athletes for the Glasgow Games in a very transparent manner.
“It is about two years down the road to the 2014 Glasgow Games but we should plan now and see what the resources would be to make sure that the athletes that are going to participate are fully equipped, trained and prepared for the games.”
Bruce gave a detailed guideline of the first meeting of the associations ahead of the big event to commence in two years’ time.
He also dilated on a wide range of issues regarding the country’s participation in the Glasgow Games and used the occasion to shed light on the fact that the GNOC dictates nothing to the associations concerned; rather it seeks the opinion and suggestions of all the associations that are involved.
Asked whether the associations whose names are not included in the list for the Games are exempt from taking part, the GNOC’s executive secretary said “the word exempt would be a very heavy word to use”, but the Glasgow 2014 tournament is addressing only 17 sports for the Olympic Games.
“Glasgow is only addressing 17 Olympic Games and out of that we are fortunate to have six sports that we are practising in The Gambia that are fortunate to be selected and that is the reason all the other associations are not selected,” he said.
He was however referring to the fact that only associations that practise Commonwealth Games sports in The Gambia that are invited to participate in the Games.
This excludes the country’s most popular sport, football, and the world’s most lucrative business enterprises, basketball and lawn tennis.
Bruce appealed to the invited sports associations for the Glasgow Games to go all out to identify athletes with the potentials of going to the Games fully prepared to deliver the desired results.