Sports Minister participates in Commonwealth virtual video conference

Jul 28, 2020, 11:59 AM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko

Youth and Sports minister, Hadrammeh Sidibeh has participated in the Commonwealth ministerial virtual conference on sports and Covid-19 pandemic across the world where he described coronavirus pandemic as a global health and societal emergency that has impacted all segments of society, including sports.

"The pandemic has affected community and grassroots sporting activities which have been halted while numerous international and professional sport and leagues have been postponed or cancelled. These measures have affected the whole sector with flow on repercussions, for the health, societal and economic contributions that sport makes in Commonwealth countries," he said.

Mr. Sidibeh said the societal impact of the pandemic has also been significant, adding that it is expected that The Gambia will experience the first increase in poverty since 1998, with thousands working in the informal sector expected to fall into extreme poverty.

However, social distancing measures and restrictions on mobility implemented to contain the spread of the virus; existing inequalities in type and division of labor and the overall economic impact of the pandemic have disproportionately impacted vulnerable groups.

According to him, young people are facing triple shock due to Covid-19, noting that more than one in six young people have stopped working, while education and training are being disrupted.

He said emerging evidence across all regions in the country have also shown that domestic violence is on the rise, with many households registering significant increase in rates of violence against women and girls since the proclamation of the state of emergency.

He activities that are most affected by Covid-19 in The Gambia include the cancellation of community sport events, national leagues, closure of all sport facilities and no access to training facilities for Olympic athletes, saying that has affected income generation of the athletes, postponement of sport projects, cancellation of all schools sport programs and postponement of visits by scout agents.