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Young Gambian Reporter Eyes Olympic Games coverage

Aug 22, 2011, 2:29 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Gambia’s young and dynamic reporter Abdoulie Bah has set his eyes firmly on covering the 2012 London Olympic Games as he continues to make huge impact in the ongoing young reporters programme gathering pace in Shenzhen, China.

The West Coast Radio sports commentator and producer, who left the shores of the country for the AIPS young reporters programme in China recently, has spelled out his ambition to cover the 2012 Olympic Games.

He said: “My goal now is to go to the 2012 Olympic Games in London as a reporter and if I go there, I will be going there with good experience after Shenzhen for the Universiade.”

Bah, who is both the producer and presenter of the famous sports programme called Gamcel Sports Talk show on West Coast Radio, added: “It is a great opportunity for young athletes to start at the Universiade.  I look at this in the same way as a sports reporter, who has only worked in the media for about four years.”

Describing the Shenzhen training programme as a rare opportunity for young reporters, Bah said he has got the chance to cover such a big event – for which he had to go through endless security checkpoints - where he met colleagues from different countries.

The young reporters programme involved best 30 AIPS-selected young journalists from the five continents of Africa, America, Asia, Oceania and Europe and immersed them into the Games for 14 days, with full access to the competition venues.

Bah was nominated by the Sports Journalists Association of The Gambia, an AIPS national association member, to attend the event. The young reporter described Shenzhen as an example The Gambia should learn from.

“It is rare to get the opportunity to experience such a big event, like the Universiade, and coming here has made me realise how small my country is,” he said.

“For example, the number of volunteers here in Shenzhen for the Universiade is just a fraction less than the total population of The Gambia, and the volunteers numbering up to about 1.2 million.

“But there are nations with fewer people than The Gambia who have huge representation here at the Universiade, for example, Liechtenstein, with 36, 000.  So, why aren’t there any athletes from The Gambia?

“Hard question to answer, but I think the reason is probably that nobody in The Gambia knows about the Universiade. The Universiades are great for young athletes to take their first steps at big tournaments or games, and just see how it could be getting to the Olympics in the future.

“It was saddening to sit alongside my 30 colleagues from across the world, who cheered on their countries’ participants waving their various national flags in the opening ceremony, whilst I could only sit and show solidarity with the African participants instead of the beautiful red, white, blue and green of my country The Gambia.”

The promising sports reporter highlighted:  “I think it is high time the University of The Gambia introduced sport in its programmes and registered with FISU - the International University Sports Federation.

“This will give the Gambian youth another chance to not only excel in international events but to also take our flag to higher heights.”