Mar 14, 2016, 9:47 AM
Speaking at the presentation ceremony held at the GTBank head office on Kairaba Avenue, the Managing Director of GTBank, Bolaji Ayodele, said GTBank had signed a four-year sponsorship deal with the Gambia Secondary School Football Association worth D1.5 million for the inter-school football competition, adding that the winner of the competition will receive D100,000 and the runners-up D50,000.
The tournament would help in grooming and scouting good players for the U-17, he said, adding that the U-20 have been “doing well” in the African U-20 Youth championship qualifiers after eliminating Morocco.
MD Ayodele assured Gambia Secondary School Football Association of his bank’s willingness to continue its support to the association.
The Gambia would “really benefit from GTBank, he said, while encouraging people to grace the matches during the competition.
The GTBank MD pointed out that the competition, which involves substantial award prizes for players, would enable players to showcase their skills.
Martin Gomez, president of the Gambia Secondary School Football Association, hailed GTBank for sponsoring the 2016 inter-schools football competition, saying the competition would provide opportunity for coaches to scout out players for the U-17.
Gomez said the association had encountered difficulties in organizing the competition in previous years and at some point even stopped it due to financial constraints.
The intervention of GTBank would aid the association in organizing the competition annually without much financial constraints.
Gomez also urged schools to open accounts with GTBank and called on other banks to emulate GTBank’s efforts at developing football in The Gambia.
Alagie S. Darboe, vice president of the Gambia Secondary Schools Football Association, in his remarks, said the competition is set to kick off on 27 June through 3 July 2016, adding that those from the provinces would lodge at the Friendship Hotel in Bakau while matches will be played at the Stadium, Seaview field and the other field Bakau played their nawetan.
Darboe advised the participating schools to register school-going students, adding that any school found using players that are not students will be disqualified from the competition because “the competition is for school-going students”.
Darboe called on schools and students to come out in their numbers to watch matches as they did during the national athletics championship.
For his part, Alieu Y. Cham, chairman of the National Organising Committee, thanked GTBank for sponsoring the national inter-school football competition.
He appealed to GTBank to sponsor the upper basic schools’ inter-schools football, adding that there are plenty of talents in the upper basic schools.
At the end of the competition there will be prizes for the best player, best goalkeeper among others.