The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has launched a school and youth development programme, yesterday. The launching which gathered the GFF executive members was held at the Football House in Kanifing.
The aim of the programme is to encourage, advocate and implement more football activities at grassroot levels which will improve competition, expand the player pool and result for national team selection.
The objective of the grassroots football development plan by the Gambia Football Federation is to create a nationwide schools and youth development programme and to ensure that all potential and talented youth are captured and nurtured, as well as to help create a more positive, player-centered learning environment
Speaking at the launching ceremony, The Gambia Football Federation president, Lamin Kaba Bajo said the programme is targets to bring communities together and provide young people with opportunities, make them role models and inculcate in them skills to effect positive changes in Gambian societies.
He added that delivering the programme will require hard work on the GFF technical department, regional bodies, the government, partners and stakeholders, maintaing that it will also require the support of the executive committee.
The GFF boss said the programme will focus on schools and youth development, saying without a firm grassroots structure, football at all levels of the game will suffer. “This programme will help to train coaches, Physical Education teachers and all those who intends to become coaches.
Martin Gomez, GFF 3rd Vice President, who doubles as the president of the School Sports Association said coming up with the programme is a step in the the right direction for the development of grassroot football, noting that most of the Gambian youth are in schools and football development should start from the grassroots.
According to him, their focus is simply looking at the Gambian child from the early years to adolescence before going into serious football, noting that they are focusing on both male and female in schools.
“We are also trying to capture those children who are outside the formal school system and for that to happen, we need all hand on desk,“ he said. He said they are fully supported by the Ministry of Basic and secondary Education.
Ebou Faye, 2nd Vice President of GFF said this is the first stage of developing Gambian football, noting that the idea of having the programme is to ensure that football is played throughout the country.
Representing the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Isatou Jallow thanked the GFF for the initiative, saying it is important in the development of football in the Gambia
By Arfang M.S. Camara and Fatou Trawally