Aug 1, 2017, 4:01 PM
MJ Finance males’ volleyball team and the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) females’ team have been crowned champions in the maiden edition of the Gambia Volleyball Association (GVBA) Beach Volleyball Competition, after beating their opponents in the finals played at Pocoloco Beach on Sunday.
MJ Finance beat Gamtel/Gamcel by 2 sets to one (21-11, 18-21 and 15-10) in a keenly and well-contested colourful final, that attracted a large number of fans.
The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) beat Gamtel/Gamcel by two straight sets (21-14 and 21-11) to lift the trophy.
MJ Finance skipper Ousainou Jatta alias Sniper was named the best male player of tournament, while GAF captain Abie Kujabi went home with the best female player of the competition award.
The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services were voted the most disciplined team of the competition, and several companies and individuals were also awarded certificates of appreciation.
GVA President Yunusa Barry described the finals as an historic event.
He added that the competition was in line with their calendar of activities for 2014-15, and featured players with great talents, as well as a high standard of discipline during the period.
Barry thanked the President for giving them the required support through the Ministry of Youth and Sports. This is manifested in the significant support he is giving to the sports sector, he went on.
He further thanked Social Security and House Finance Cooperation, Gambia Ports Authority, Gambia Tourism Board and all those who support the association to promote and develop volleyball in the country.
Barry called on the private sector and parastatals, particularly hotels, GSM operators and other companies to invest in volleyball.
Beach Volleyball has gain popularity in the Olympics within a short period of time, he added, and The Gambia needs to be part of the game.
With financial support from government and parastatals the association is optimistic about qualifying for both the Olympic indoor and beach volleyball competitions some day, he further stated, adding that this will enable them market their players to the outside world.
Gambians are talented, and with international exposure they will make a difference, he went on, and called the Ministry of Youth and Sports to shift their attention slightly from football and give a chance to other disciplines like volleyball to enable them participate at a higher level.
They intend to organise an open championship in order to promote the game, he announced.
Cop Lamin F. Bargie, GAF females’ team coach, expressed delight in winning the first edition of the competition.
Jegan Ndong, Coach Gamtel/Gamcel females’ team said luck was not on their side, but they played well.
Musa Darboe, MJ Finance males’ volleyball team coach, said everybody has been looking forward to the final, and they will prepare fully for the open championship to lift that trophy as well.
MJ Finance has been helpful to the team, he said, and thanked the company as well as the fans.
Marcel Mendy, deputy executive director National Sports Council, said he was satisfied with a well-organised competition, and the level of competitiveness and discipline shown during the encounter.
Taking the sport to the grassroots and communities is what the NSC was calling for and looking forward to, he added, and commended the GVA.