#Article (Archive)

Sports Development of Paramount Importance

Apr 16, 2009, 7:08 AM

- President Jammeh


In a recent statement made at the victory celebration for the U 17 team, President Jammeh revealed that Sports development is of paramount importance to his Government's agenda. Such a declaration must make extremely happy and in a state of high motivation all sports enthusiasts, promoters and developers.

For many years, sports has received from Government very little regard, if any at all, compared to the other sectors of national development; although look now at what great good sports in doing for the economy, for the nuclear family, and the extended family, and for everyone.

Sports used to be merely appendage to the erstwhile and overwhelmed. Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture. Very little happened them owing to irreconcilable objectives, competing policies, huge responsibilities and meager resources. It was in 1992 that Government started to demonstrate either some love or attention to sports by creating for it a completely separate Ministry with its own Minister, Permanent Secretary and full staff complement. From BedfordBuilding it was moved to the new Quadrangle Administrative block where it still operates from. Despite this policy and infrastructural change the sector continued unfortunately in a condition of frailty and lacking proper attention.

Some of its officials lacked either the necessary know-how or the slightest iota of interest in its promotion or development.

Because of this, the Ministry was nicknamed in some private circles as a dead end for public administration and administrators.

Furthermore, the sector has received very little resources: human, material (infrastructure), or financial, for any significant improvement or progress to be made. But now that sports has been given prominence by the Scorpions, and especially accorded priority by His Excellency the President, everyone will be looking forward to significant developments in that sector. The sporting authorities should therefore quickly develop sports infrastructure not only in the urban and peri-urban areas but more importantly in rural areas to provide equal opportunities to everyone to participate in sports, and for the widest scouting of talent for national teams. Greater financial investment should be made by government and private sector sponsors in catering for sporting needs particularly of national teams: facilities for optional training, adequate match preparations before international encounters, good coaching and team exposure to other countries and different of football.

Finally, sports should be developed from grassroots and should therefore form an integral part of the school/ education system. The departments of state for Education and for Sports respectively should now make this issue part of a serious agenda because there can be no doubt whatsoever that early development is the best recipe for optional success in an area that usually ends at the early age of 30.

We want to seize this opportunity to express profound gratitude to President Jammeh for the great things he is doing for sports.

We like what he has said, that Sports development is of paramount importance, to Government. Yes, because it keeps the youths constructively occupied and healthy; it brings about unity and social cohesion in the country and between nations; it alleviates poverty and promotes socio-economic development.

To president's great statement we can only add support for our part that sports development is of paramount importance to the people, now and forever! Bravo to the magnificent performance of the U- 17.