Jun 22, 2010, 1:31 PM
At a colourful ceremony attended by members of the GGA, Bakau New Town LBS, and representatives from the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Gambia National Olympic Committee among others, the launch also witnessed by the GGA giving 3 nets, 125 golf balls, 38 clubs, 20 rule books and tees to the Bakau New Town Lower Basic School.
Ebrima Jawara, President of the GGA, in his opening statement, said the day marked just another milestone in the history of his association, noting that this was the first of its kind in the history of a Gambian school to have such.
“Bakau New Town LBS is the academy of Gambian golf,” he said, adding that in the next two years they should be sending a team of 3 players (U-17) to represent The Gambia at the World Cup and that they hope 2 will come from the newly introduced academy.
He noted that with this academy they hope to produce golfers who will be best-ever golfers, saying they have done much for adults and professional golfers because when the association came into existence there were only three professional golfers but now there are nine professionals and they thought they should now go to the schools, which is the grassroots.
“This is the most important thing the GGA has done since its inception,” he remarked, adding that having the academy in the schools will boost the morale of the students.
He added that Bakau New Town LBS will be a success, which will be replicated in other schools and regions, saying that golf is a sport that requires investment and they are ready to make it available by bringing more equipment as well as build a patting brown in the schools if the school authorities could permit them.
He said it is also important to know the rules of the game because it is what gives guidance to the game.
He thanked the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education for supporting the initiative but most especially the President of the Republic of the Gambia who has done a lot for the GGA by taking the game of golf to another level.
Beatrice Allen, IOC Member and first vice president of the GNOC, in her launching statement, said golf is a very important game because it is an Olympic sport,
Ms Allen thanked the GGA for having the foresight to introduce the sport in schools.
“As associations if you want to sustain your sport you have to start from the grassroots which is the schools,” she said while assuring the GGA of her committee’s continued support to move from one school to the other.
Mrs Haddy S. Njie, headmistress Bakau New Town LBS, said it was a pride and prestige for such a historic event to happen in her school during her reign.
“I affirm that introducing golf in a Lower Basic School means starting from the grassroots,” she said, adding: “I have no doubt in my mind that if this trend is also introduced in other schools, our motherland will surely have the likes of Tiger Woods.”
She assured the GGA that the equipment will be put into effective use by the beneficiaries, adding that they also look forward to the day their field will be all bahama grass.
Other speakers included Omar Jadama, Manufacturer of the golf nets, Malleh Sabally, representative of the Basic and Secondary Education.
Three professional golfers are identified for the teaching of the students. These are Pa Famara J. J. Jatta, head coach of the academy, Tijan Kuyateh, a senior professional golfer and Omar Jadama.