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Training for 14 radio sports journalists wraps up

Jul 14, 2015, 9:22 AM | Article By: Alieu Ceesay, SJAG Asst. SG

The week-long intensive training course organised by the Sports Journalists Association of The Gambia (SJAG) with the support of The Gambia Press Union (GPU) ended on Saturday afternoon at the GPU head office in Fajara.

The training brought together 14 radio sports journalists with the view to better develop their skills as aspiring professional sports journalists.

The trainer was Morten Haurborg, a renowned radio sports journalist from Denmark.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Musa Sise, president of Sports Journalists’ Association of The Gambia (SJAG), remarked: “Yes, delighted I’m because of the records that we’re trying to break in here. At the end of this programme, there should be a very big difference because you guys are very hardworking and I think what I want to see happen at the end of this programme is popularise what you have gathered and gained from this training programme, make the best use of it, show the difference, let those who don’t know, know that you’ve known something else.”

He added: “This executive is very particular about what is done in the name of sports journalists in this country; we’re very particular and you should equally be particular and reciprocate what it is being done for you through the Gambia Press Union.

The GPU is the parent body and we can go about and do things on the sidelines but most of what we want to do has to come from this parent body and you also need to look towards the Press Union as the body responsible for your wellbeing as a professionals in this country, and if you want to alienate it you’re doom because you cannot exist.

“If any trouble falls on your head in any of this media houses the Press Union is the body that is going to be responsible for you; not your media houses because they will abandon you but the Press Union abandons no body; so please let’s look towards the Press Union.”

In his remarks on the occasion, GPU president Emil Touray thanked the participants for showing maximum humility, commitment and seriousness during the course of the training.

“Unlike some of your colleagues who are complacent and feel that they’re above learning or in pursuit of knowledge you people have gone all the way during the holy month of Ramadan to seek knowledge and not only did you come and seek knowledge, but when you came you would show real seriousness and the enthusiasm which was demonstrated here is something that we’re very much happy about.”

The GPU president challenged the participants that they should emerged as ambassadors of development by ensuring that what they have learnt is shared with their colleagues who have not got the opportunity to be part of the training.

He also urged them to put into good use the knowledge acquired.

“The SJAG executive care very much about your welfare and this is why they’re always coming to the GPU to ask for support and I would want to believe with all hands on deck, we can make a big difference in the sports journalism landscape in this country.

“We all have shortcomings but we must be prepared to overcome our shortcomings and the only way we can do that is to be prepared to learn and be ready to share what we’ve learnt.”

Furthermore, Touray reaffirmed both GPU and SJAG’s readiness to continue working with the Danish course trainerMorten Haurborg with a view to helping journalists improve on their skills “because with his support and the support of his counterparts there can be a big difference in the media landscape”.

For his part, Morten Haurborg, resource person for the training course, said: “I’ve been very surprised that 14 of you have come here every day at 9 a.m. despite that it is Ramadan. You have been concentrating for most of the days throughout the day and it has been a pleasure to be the instructor here during that period.

“Now there is still a big work ahead of you and there is a big work ahead of all of us because it never stops, we can decide that we want to improve and we can decide that we want to be relevant, but we can always be a little bit better everyday not only as journalists but also as human beings.”

According to Morten, he has discovered some good talents that can be good reporters, commentators, and editors. “If you have talent and you just rely on the talent and you don’t work with it, you don’t try to become better and better then your talent is wasted, and don’t waste the talent you have.”

He finally tasked them to continue working hard to be good sports journalists that are neutral and objective.

In her vote of thanks, Fatou Banja of City Limits Radio thanked the SJAG and GPU for the training, saying the knowledge gained will greatly help them in doing their daily work as journalists.

At the end of the training, both SJAG executive and GPU separately presented souvenirs to Morten Haurborg.

Participants were also issued with certificates for attending the training.