The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) on Friday held the 14th edition of its annual national awards and sports banquet at the Gardens of the Djeliba Hotel in Kololi.
The 'special' occasion once again brought together people from different walks of life to honour and pay tribute to national sportsmen and women for their outstanding performance and also award trophies to all the 49 teams that participated in the 19th edition of the May Day Mass Sports.
After welcoming the delegates to the event, the president of the NOC, Alhaji Momodou Dibba saluted all the participating companies for taking part in the mass sports and in the all day volleyball held the weekend preceding the labour day.
Dibba said he was indeed honoured for having among the mix some eminent personalities in sports while also reserving special welcome for the partners of the GNOC whom he said remained visibly steadfast and supportive in their activities. He reserved particular praise for the main sponsors of the two events, Samsung, Banjul Breweries, Gambia Police Foprce, Gambia Armed Forces Band and Number 1 Sports Shop..
The former secretary general of the Gambia Football Association (GFA)?also used the opportunity to hail the spirit of candid leadership and conscientiousness of President Jammeh and his government adding that he was particularly very thrilled to have seen so many government ministries in the march past inspirationally led by the secretary general and head of the Civil Service at the May Day Sports.
Dibba stressed the fact that while many athletes competing in events achieve excellence and glorified on the podium, those who continue to work tirelessly to support these athletes and prepare them for high performance must also be acknowledged. He also commended all their volunteers, coaches, technical officials and administrators, particularly from the National Sports Associations for the valuable contribution that they make to ensure that they promote mass participation and development of sports in The Gambia.
Dibba concluded by commending the 2012 Sports Award Committee for working tirelessly in the arduous campaign for nomination from the general public and the winners of the various awards that range from the Most Outstanding Sports Personality Award, the President's Award, the GNOC Sponsorship Award, the Sports Infrastructure Award, Post Humous Award Award and to those being inducted to the Sports Hall of Fame and Merit List.
The Most Outstanding Sports Personality Award went to Baboucarr Sowe, who captained the Gambia National football team for 10 years and known widely as Captain Laos. The 57-year-old Laos holds the unique status of being the last man to captain the Gambia under its old name of "Gambia XI" and the first to wear the armband when the team played under its new identity of "Scorpions".
Alhaji Bamba Njie, Musa Njie, Haddy Sillah Njie and Alhaji Ndow Njie were inducted into the Hall of Fame while Sam John Forster, Tayib Sowe, Donald Mam Biran Sock, Musa Babanding Ceesay, Dado Jah, Eli Eunson Sylva, Yassin Joof Jaw and Alagie Chucks Faal were all awarded the Merit List.
The Posthumous Award that is given to sports personalities that have departed this world for eternity was won by four people which were received on their behalf by their family members. The awardees were, the late Njok Malick Njie, late Momodou Jobe -Sasu-, late Landing Kassa Janneh and the late Yusupha Sam Sibi. Honorary award was given to No.1 Sports Shop (AKRAM), the Sponsorship Award was won by Joseph Furmose Gomez, while the Brikama Youth and Sports Committee won the Sports Infrastructure Award.
Musa Casa Taal of Volleyball, Momodou Belo Njie, Sulayman Norman Alhaji Musa Coker and Mbaheh Camara all won the Association Award. The President's Award 'went to Samsung Electronics Limited. The programme was chaired by Peter Gomez. You can read our subsequent editions for the citation of all the awardees.