My election to the Presidency in November 2021 gave me a great sense of responsibility, and deep thoughts in my mind about how I can work with the team and with everybody, to make a difference in our sports development endeavors. The Management Committee and Executive Board set to work in building on the GNOC programmes, and embarked on the consultative process with our stakeholders and partners.
In light of this, I hereby present my statement on the policy directions and programmes for the year 2021.
1- International Olympic Committee/Olympic Solidarity
The Gambia NOC continued to champion the IOC agenda, particularly the Olympic Agenda 2020+5 with its 15 recommendations. The agenda highlights among many others, a minimum operating standard that guides NOCs in fulfilling their mission as members of the Olympic Movement. Dear colleagues, your support is needed for the implementation of these strategies of the IOC and the Olympic Movements until the year 2025.
The GNOC continues to enjoy a good working relationship with OS, the funding arm of the IOC for NOCs. You may need to be reminded that 90% of NOC programs are supported by Olympic Solidarity in facilitating programs ranging from Athletes’ development, development of coaches, capacity building for Sports Administrators, and the functioning of the GNOC. We will continue to maximize on the opportunities available for the development of our Sports, and for enhancing the capacity of the administration for proper functioning.
2- Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA)
Our NOC membership in ANOCA has been very beneficial and we continue to honor and participate in ANOCA programmes. We look forward to participating in the African Games, ANOCA Youth Games, and the ANOCA Beach Games in the future. The Administration will continue to work with the respective Associations to prepare them for the Games mentioned to ensure The Gambia’s participation.
3- Commonwealth Games Federation (GCF)
The Gambia is well-grounded in the programs and activities of the Commonwealth Games Federations. As such, among the various projects, the GNOC was able to secure a grant to support the qualification of our athletes for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The implementation of this project is captured in the detailed report of the Secretary-General. The GNOC is presently working with the Government of the Gambia on preparing a team for the Commonwealth Youth Games scheduled to be held in Trinidad and Tobacco in 2023(TRINBAGO 2023).
4- OlympAfrica International Foundation
The GNOC continues to strengthen its partnership with OlympAfrica foundation to ensure that Serrekunda East Centre is equipped with operational tools for effective services to the community, and as a breeding ground for the National Associations to identify talent.
- National Sports Associations
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies, and Gentlemen, you will all agree with me that in the management of our sports, National Federations/Associations go through challenges in the running of their sports. This is mainly due to the lack of capacity in terms of sports facilities, finances as well as sponsorship but most of all in the application of governance as required by the IOC.
The NOC has been training sports administration courses for sports leaders and technical Courses for Coaches, in order to build capacity for Sports Management in the country. There is a need for National Associations to take these courses seriously and participate fully as required by the NOC. On the other hand, female sports Administrator courses are conducted with full participation but there is a need for the NOC to conduct an assessment of these female leaders in order to establish the impact of their activities in their associations. There is a need to revisit our policies
and strategizes in order to devise a responsive system that will promote and sustain, excellence in our sports.
Dear Colleagues, in the coming year, the GNOC will shift focus on Games preparation for PARIS 2024 Olympic Games. It is therefore important for all Olympic sports that have potential athletes for PARIS 2024 Olympic Games to contact their international federations for information on their qualifiers.
Based on the Olympic Charter, the GNOC embarked on consultations with the Government through joint meetings, exchanging information and supporting and contributing to the National development agenda.
1- The Gambia Government
On behalf of the Olympic and Sports Movement in the Gambia, I would like to extend thanks and appreciation to His Excellency the President of the Republic of the Gambia, Mr. Adama Barrow, for the enabling environment for sports development, the Ministry of Youth & Sports, the National Sports Council for a strong working relationship between The Gambia NOC and the Government of The Gambia.
You will all agree with me that this collaboration has already started yielding dividends as demonstrated in the performance of our athletes in the world of sports. It is also worth mentioning that the GNOC received a significant contribution from The Government for the Gambia’s participation in the TOKYO 2020 Olympic Games for the first time.
- Athletes’ training and development is the primary focus of the NOC to prepare athletes to participate in the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Islamic Games, and other world, regional, Zonal, and national sports championships-I am happy to inform you that for the first time, the Olympic scholarship for athletes’ allocation of Olympic Solidarity increased from 5 athletes to 7, including, two Judokas who are all training in France as part of preparations for the PARIS 2024 Olympic Games.
The GNOC will continue to maximize on the Team support Grant of Olympic Solidarity for continues supporting of our Beach Volleyball athletes. It is important to note that the grant is not enough to support bigger team sports but the NOC will continue to tap any opportunities wherever possible for additional team sports for international exposure.
- Finally, there are plans to initiate reforms in the NOC to meet the requirements stipulated in the Olympic Charter. Based on the IOC governance framework, we have initiated the formulation of a strategic plan (2023-2029) for the Gambia NOC, and its constituents to ensure transparency and accountability in our Sports. Once the plan is developed, it will serve as the operational guidelines for the NOC and all National Federations /Associations recognized by The Gambia NOC.
Secondly, a Constitutional review of the 2013 constitution will soon commence and will be based on the Olympic Charter. These two processes require the full support and participation of all sports, and I implore on all Sports to review their constitution as well will.
- In closing, I hereby reiterate that in line with the mission of the Olympic Movement, I will use my term in office to unite the Olympic and Sports Movement in The Gambia as one The periodic meetings with the National Federations
/Associations will be reactivated, for enhanced two-way communication, and periodic briefing sessions and information sharing on all aspects of sports development will be organized in future.
Let me take this unique opportunity to thank our stakeholders, the Olympic and Sports Movement, and staff for the support given to me. I will continue to engage you individually based on your expertise whenever necessary to ensure that the NOC is given the values it deserves. I also sincerely appreciate the Print and electronic media, for their support in disseminating information.
Thank you for your kind attention.