By Momodou Jarju
The Gambia Wrestling Association (GWA) in collaboration with the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) on Monday wrapped-up a 6-day Level One International Coaching Course on Olympic Wrestling held at a local hotel in Senegambia.
The training, which was aimed at reintroducing Greco-Roman and Freestyle/Olympic wrestling in The Gambia, was held from the 13th to the 18th of December 2022 and brought together 25 participants who were trained by Nigeria instructor Akuh Purity. Purity is a certified coach trainer identified by the United World Wrestling Federation (UWW) through the GNOC.
The trainees were taken through different modules recommended by UWW, including wrestling based on the new UWW education path, knowledge of Olympic wrestling rules, risk management with respect to the safety and physical integrity of practitioners, and familiarization of coaches with the UWW training system.
Speaking at the closing event, GWA President Sering Faye thanked the GNOC for facilitating the training for his-led association. President Faye thanked the trainer Akuh Purity for giving the participants the very best experience and knowledge.
“I have no doubt that this level one technical coaching course on Olympic wrestling will go a long way in developing Olympic wrestling in The Gambia,” he said.
President Faye congratulated the participants and urged them to share the knowledge gained among their colleagues and athletes.
Abdoulie Bojang, the Desk Office for Wrestling at the National Sports Council, urged the participants to showcase what they have learned, while encouraging them to work hard to produce athletes that can represent the country at the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Senegal in 2026.
Mama Faal, one of the participants who delivered the vote of thanks, expressed their gratitude to the organisers who gave them the opportunity to enhance their capacity as far as Olympic sport is concerned.
“I hope this opportunity will… [be] transferred to our fellow colleagues and athletes in the future. This is a very important opportunity that is being given to us, I only hope we will all cherish it and transfer the knowledge being taught here,” Faal said, while hoping that this kind of training continues to level two, three, and advanced level.
Course trainer Akuh Purity, who was presented with a white caftan by the participants at the end of the training, said he came in with the little knowledge he has and he tried to see what the participants have.
“I was trying to check the ability that they have and I discovered that they have enough in them, they just needed some to bring it out and that’s exactly what I did,” he said.