Nov 5, 2010, 1:21 PM
Father Gough Sports Foundation on Saturday at the D’ Nubian Seafood Garden, Seaview Boulevard, hosted a dinner in honour of great individuals whose contributions to the development of The Gambia are considered to be outstanding by the Foundation.
The dinner took the form of an award ceremony meant to recognise various people for what the Gough Foundation referred to as their outstanding contribution to the development of The Gambia in various ways.
The Foundation also came up with new awards for two different categories called ‘Community Affairs’ and ‘Religion’, in addition to the great sports contributors, youth, culture, and education awards.
The award dinner - under the distinguished patronage of the founder of the foundation, Father Joseph Gough, with the support of Bye Malleh Wadda, the foundation’s coordinator - saw the presentation of different awards to a good number of sports personalities, educationists and religious leaders.
Veteran sports icon and great contributor to football development in The Gambia Alhajie O.B Conateh, was the first high-profile luminary that took to the stage to receive a trophy in recognition of his outstanding service to sports development in the country amidst fantastic reception from the crowd.
Mr Conateh’s award was followed by that of Alhajie Abou Dandeh-Njie, who was also honoured by Father Gough Foundation for his contribution to sport, while Alhajie Omar Sey, former president of the Gambia Football Association, was the next on the queue to be awarded even though he was not present at the award ceremony.
Other awardees were the late Emmanuel Gomez, who was given a posthumous award, Father Edward Gomez (Plaque Religion), Father Peter Gomez (Plaque Religion), Father David Jarjue (Plaque Religion), Awa Sesay-Sabally (Plaque Law and Justice), Assan Cham (Plaque Foundation), Nazir Bader (25yrs of Plaque contractor services for the Gough Foundation), Mariama Ceesay (Plaque Education), Mambury Njie (Plaque Foundation for socio-economic development), and Bishop Cleary.
During the award ceremony, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, former president of The Gambia, also presented his biography entitled ‘Kairaba’, to some high-profile public figures as part of the activity marking yet another prominent occasion in the annals of the Foundation that has been very much dominant in sports development in the country over the years.
The Foundation’s coordinator, Bye Malleh Wadda, took time to share his joy at the end of the occasion with Pointsport in an interview with this reporter who covered the award dinner.
He said: “These awards are meant to acknowledge and appreciate the people that have contributed immensely towards the development of this country in the areas of youth, sport, education, religion, and community affairs.
“The ultimate goal of the foundation is to recognise the contribution of people in the development of this country.”
Added Wadda, who was extremely delighted to witness a successful award: “It is always important to acknowledge those people that have contributed in no small ways to the development of The Gambia.”
The number of awards conferred on various winners has been increased tremendously this year compared to last year’s event but the foundation’s coordinator has an authentic explanation to this development.
The idea behind the massive percentage increase, he says, is that the foundation wants to include as many great contributors as possible as a way of recognizing them for their invaluable services to the nation.
A similar award ceremony by the foundation was held last year in which Sir Dawda Jawara and nine others all received the top honour.