Gambia: President Jammeh to Sponsor Inter-School Independence Athletics Championship

The fifth edition of the Inter-Regional Lower Basic School Independence Athletics Championship would be sponsored by the president of the Republic, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, officials of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education disclosed Tuesday in Banjul.

The championship that will take place on February 18th at the Serrekunda West Mini-Stadium is part of activities marking the country's 48th Independence Anniversary.

Speaking at a presentation ceremony held at the Basic and Secondary Education Ministry, the desk officer for sports and president of Primary Schools Sports' Association, Musa Mendy, explained that the championship is being revitalised thanks to the Gambian leader.

"This is the only championship where we meet children from the most remote parts of the country. This year's event is supported by the president and all the regions would take part," he indicated.

Mendy further disclosed that the event is expected to host about 40 athletes and five officials from each region of the country. He indicated that Regions 3, 4, 5, and 6 would be camped at the Friendship Hostel from the 16th to 19th, while region 2 would be camped at the Gambia Football Association's Gold Project in Old Yumdum.

"Due to the ongoing rehabilitation at the Independence Stadium, we decided to hold the event at the Serrekunda West Mini-Stadium," Mendy stated.

For his part, a logistic officer and member of the organising committee, Momodou Bah, reiterated the significance of the event, saying it is meant to scout talents in athletics for future gain.

He noted that the event would promote social cohesion among young people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

"We also offer scholarships and certificates to the outstanding athletes as a form of encouragement," he added.

Recast

It would be recalled that last year the event was held at the Independence Stadium in Bakau, where Region 2 was ranked as winners of the competition for the second time in a row. During last year's competition, three best athletes; namely Abdou Badjie, from Busra LBS, Sainabou Ceesay from Sitanunku LBS and Awa Jallow from Kerr Pateh LBS, were awarded scholarships by the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC), courtesy of its president, Momodou Dibba.

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