Oct 22, 2012, 10:25 AM
The National Sports Council has declared its intention to give its backing to at least 11
national sports associations for the upcoming all-African Games due to take place in Maputo, Mozambique, from 3 to 18 September 2011, Pointsport has gathered.
This announcement was made public at a meeting conveyed by the National Sports Council (NSC) at its office at the Independence Stadium in Bakau yesterday afternoon where it was disclosed that 12 active national sports associations with the exception of the popular football have been selected by the Sports Council to participate in the All-African Games.
“We have identified 12 active associations to take part in the all-African Games because we want to make sure we have very good representatives who will raise the flag of The Gambia in the All-Africa Games,” Momodou Max Jallow, executive secretary of the NSC told the gathering.
Max, who attributed The Gambia’s failure in most of the international sports events to late preparation, was however quick to advise the selected associations to put their house in order to have competent athletes who will not disappoint the nation at the end of the championship.
Also speaking at the meeting was Lawrence Bruce, executive secretary of the Gambia National Olympic Committee, who dwelt on significant issues regarding the participation of athletes to the All-African Games, which also includes the criteria for participation.
Bruce said the participation of national sports associations to the All-African Games requires that all the national associations have the capacity to prepare for the All-African Games, which, according to him, is the stepping stone to the Olympic Games.
He used the opportunity to send a strong warning to those associations that are determined to participate in the All-African Games to put in place all the necessary means to ensure they participate fully, which will also include financial spending.
“Any association or associations that are interested in participating in the event can forward your names but let me tell you that if you know that your association is not ready to compete in the All-African Games or does not meet the criteria to participate, be honest with yourselves not to force your athletes into the competition for the sake of participation,” says Bruce, who dilated on a wide range of issues pertaining to the event due to commence in two months’ time.
The director of Sports at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malang Jassey, and the vice chairman of the NSC, Sheikh Tijan Faye, who both shared their thoughts on the issue, were unanimous in their cautionary statements to members of the aspiring national associations.
In attendance at the meeting were representatives of the associations that are selected to participate in the All-African Games. These are: the Gambia Athletic Association, the Gambia Table Tennis Association, the Gambia Paralympics Association, the Gambia Amateur Boxing Association, the Gambia Volleyball Association, the Gambia Handball Association, the Gambia Lawn Tennis Association, the Gambia Cycling Association, the Gambia Weightlifting Association, the Gambia Karate Association, the Gambia Basketball Association and the Gambia Sports Journalists Association.
The meeting also availed the representatives of the sports associations the unique opportunity to forward the names of their candidates they deem fit to participate in the All-African Games, which will be sent to the organisers as soon as possible for approval.