By Yankuba Jallow
The Association of Secondary School Sports and Football has on Tuesday, 24th November 2020 handed cash prize of D275,000 to winners and runner-ups in the 2020 schools athletic championship.
One hundred thousand was handed to the serial winners Bottrop who scooped the championship five times in a row, fifty thousand to Bakoteh who came out second and twenty-five thousand to Nusrat who came out third in the senior secondary school category. Latrikunda Sabiji Upper Basic School were handed fifty thousand dalasi for winning the championship and it is their third win in a row, Presentation of Mary received twenty-five thousand as runner-up and Barra/Essau (D15,000) as third place winners for the junior secondary categories.
Also, Bakoteh Senior Secondary School received ten thousand dalasis as the best fan base for the year. The cash prize was sponsored by the Gambia Teachers’ Union Cooperative Credit Union (GTUCCU).
Ismaila Ceesay, the President of Gambia Secondary School Sport and Football Association said they have produced a lot of athletes who are representing the country at different levels. Ceesay said their target for next year is to give the winners D500,000, but they are restraint for lack of enough fund.
He called on the Government and private organisations and companies to support them in their endeavour to promote grass root sports.
He said supporting grass root sports will go a long way in helping developing sports in the country. He said the nightmare of qualifying to the African Nations Cup and making headways in the world of sports could be solved only by supporting grass root sports.
“Honestly, if you support grass root sports, The Gambia will never experience problems in sports. I can confidently say that,” Ceesay said.
He said his Association stand to provide the enabling environment for young people to showcase their talents in sports, but called on the school authorities to help them in the fight against age cheating.
He enjoined all PE teachers countrywide to provide the athletes with the right training and advice so that their aim of promoting grass root sports would become a reality.
“In the past years we used to experience problems, but gradually as years passed by we are experiencing less problems,” Ceesay said.
He said they have a correct system in place which they can use to track over age athletes.
Baboucar Joof, the General Manager of the GTUCCU said his office is committed to supporting the secondary school athletic championship, adding they have the approval of the board to support the initiative.
Ousman Kebbeh, the Vice President of Gambia Secondary School Sport and Football Association and the Secretary General of the Association both discussed at length their aim and aspiration to promote grass root sports.