Oct 27, 2008, 5:53 AM
Speaking at the inauguration, Yorro Njie, president of the University of the Gambia Sports Association (UTGSA) , said the idea of coming up with the association came from Mr Lawrence Bruce then Executive Director at the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC).
The reason for also coming up with the association, he recalled, was because the University did not have a department running sport.
He said as students they should not only concentrate on their books or exams; they should also come up with such an association to engage students in sport.
Mr Njie stated that one of the reasons for forming the association is to develop sport in the country as well as to improve sport and research.
He encouraged all members to fight against racism and ethnicity in sport, adding that they also planned to annually award deserving students.
Malang Jassey, deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports who deputised his Minister, said one of their goals was to ensure excellence in sport.
They believe the university has potentials to contribute to national development, he added, saying: “Integrity, patriotism, innovativeness and creativity, professionalism, teamwork, equity and equality, honesty and accountability, having a work plan and ongoing activities should be part of the accord.”
DPS Jassey assured the association of his Ministry’s support and as well thanked the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor of the UTG, Yorro Njie and members of his association for their collaboration to achieve much in sport in the country.
They wished the association luck to do well and make The Gambia proud both nationally and internationally.
Mr Jassey personally pledged D1,000 on behalf of his Ministry to the association.
Omar Malmo Sambou, president of University of The Gambia Students Union, in his remarks, said such an association had never been in existence in the history of the university hence thanked those who came up with the initiative.
“Coming up with the association is a plus to the University,” he noted, while calling on members of the association to collaborate with the MoYS and UTG to come up with plans for students to study Sports Administration.
Coming up with the association would go a long way in developing talents in the university, Mr Sambou pointed out.
Morro Krubally, facilities manager of the UTG, speaking on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, said forming the association could not have come at a better time than now when they were trying to turn the university into a world class education centre.
World class universities pay a lot of attention to sport as sport is a great way of developing academics, helping produce great leaders, bringing development, helping in balancing life as well as enhancing teamwork, he remarked.
The UTG will cooperate with the association for the university to grow into a world class learning centre as well as to produce personalities who will represent the country both nationally and internationally.
Kwadwo “Kojo” Ofosuhene, finance director and adviser of the UTG Sports Association, in his remarks, said the day marked the culmination of a long journey to make the culture of sport an integral part of the university.
“Today at the highest educational institute of the land this is the beginning of the process to integrate a culture of sport into the life of the University and it is a step in the right direction, for it will shape and impact the students in particular and the university community as a whole for a life of learning and the adoption of a healthy life style,” he stated.
“Often times in Africa we see sport and education being held as mutually exclusive,” he said, adding that this should not be the case.
Mr Kojo asked: “What value is there to a healthy mind that resides in an unhealthy body or vice versa a healthy body having an unhealthy mind.
“Clearly with the benefit of science and research we know the tremendous benefits of an active life style to health and longevity.”
“Sports in an academic environment should not be viewed as something which takes away from academic pursuits, but rather a discipline that enhances it.”
He continued: “The educated person should not be an individual that only excels academically, but is supposed to be an all rounded person, who in addition to his or her academic endeavours that broadens his or her outlook.”