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May Day targets 60 companies, gets strong measures to ensure success

Apr 26, 2013, 12:59 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

The 23rd edition of the traditional May Day Sports will be held this time around at the 22nd July Square in Banjul,  targeting about 60 companies towards the biggest event dedicated to Gambian workers.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday shortly after a consultative meeting with representatives of institutions, Momodou Demba, GNOC Development Officer and member of the organizers, said they hope to get about 60 companies registered for the May Day Sports by Monday.

GNOC, who are the organizers of the May Day, has been experiencing an increase in the number of registration almost every year, he said, adding that they are on the finishing touches of getting fully prepared for the day.

The aim of the May Day is to bring together workers to celebrate as a family, sell their products, as well as to know each other, Mr Demba said.

The new thing in this year’s May Day sports, he noted, is they are reducing the number of events to eleven looking at the location of the venue.

Another important thing about this year’s event is that they have a 70m race for Cabinet Ministers and 80m race for Permanent Secretaries.

Initially they thought the venue was small but they have realised it is even bigger than the Independence Stadium and there is also enough lighting system at the venue, he said.

He said they would try to avoid any form of cheating by companies by using students as their workers to compete for them.

“We do not want to see the interference of students through cheating by companies to run for them this year,” he said, adding that they are not encouraging win at all cost since the day is meant to socialize.

National athletes can take part provided that they are working for the particular company, he said, adding that the beauty of the day is to socialize which is why it is called mass sports.

Ebrima Kaba Cham, Secretary General of the Gambia Workers Union, said they have discussed the concerns of workers and Government and will also talk about their interest on the day, adding that in the morning when speeches are delivered and interest of workers are being discussed is the most significant part of the May Day.

 Reiterating the theme of the May Day this year as “Social dialogue through tripartite”, he said they would join the rest of the world on May Day in making the day significant.

Lamin Fofana, Operations Manager, Joint Operation Centre, speaking on the security component for the day, said security will not be compromised, noting that 300 security officers will be deployed at the venue.

 Companies will be arranged in alphabetical order and should at least have a tent or two, Mr Fofana said, adding that security services will assemble by the state house.