Gambian Paralympics Athletes Receive Items from Gambia National Para-Olympics Committee
The Gambia Paralympics sport teams on Thursday 5th November 2020 received some Paralympics sporting materials from their umbrella body of the Gambia National Para-Olympics Committee.
The Gambia National Paralympic Committee (GNPC) received wheelchairs and crutches as donation from two philanthropists and a partner organisation as a good will gesture to support the facilitation of Para sports in The Gambia.
According to an officer of the Gambia Federation for the Disabled Hajie Drammeh, the items donated comprised of four wheelchairs, two table tennis and 31 pairs of scotches that were given to the federation by friends from the Netherlands and Canada and a partner organisation which amounts to over 5000 Euros and $2500 saying these are expensive items that the Para-Olympics Committee or athletes can hardly afford.
“The daily wheelchairs were donated and shipped by Mr. Mike Bacon from Canada whilst the tennis wheelchairs were as well as given by Mr. Arie Telman and Astrid van der Meer of the Netherlands.” he pointed out.
Mr. Drammeh said that, recently the Amputee Football Athletes were in dire need of such materials; therefore it was timely that a donation of this kind was facilitated by his Committee through the efforts of his President whom he described as never relents in seeking support for the physically challenged Paralympics athletes of the Gambia.
He explained that, 21 crotches will be given to the amputee football team while the rest is for the Paralympics basketball team and others, adding that the items will help their teams to perform in international championships competitions and qualifiers in the future. He added that, at the moment they are working on six qualifiers such as the Paralympics Power lifting, Paralympics athletics, Paralympics Wheelchairs Basketball, Paralympics Amputee Football Championships and qualifiers, and Sitting Volleyball for the first time, noting Gambia participated in Saudi Arabia sitting volleyball championship sand the target is to make it a regular contest. “Our target is to qualify for the Tokyo 2021 in sitting volleyball event.” Drammeh stated.
For the Secretary General of the Gambia National Olympics Committee Mr. Abdoulie Jallow, getting equipment for athletes are key in becoming competitive enough at World stage and pledged his office's support to all athletes in the country especially for the Paralympics teams, adding donors are also recognized since it is imperative to the development of the sports in the Gambia. He assured athletes of their unflinching support at all times. “Encourage more women; bring more women as sport is inclusive.” he added.
According to the Executive Director of the Gambia National Sport Council Marcel Mendy, this is not the first in recent times for such presentations, as a similar presentation was made and it goes to show how dedicated the executive is about arming Paralympics athletes.
Mr. Mendy seized the opportunity to dilate on the forthcoming national Sport Congresses saying excellence in sport is part and parcel of the National Development Plan (NDP) plan of government and promised that government will do everything possible to support all stakeholders as it is not discriminatory against anyone especially the physically challenged persons.
He expressed gratitude to the donors as well as the efforts of the Gambia National Para-Olympics Committee for such presentations, adding that his office is aware of the end of year elections and congresses for sport associations countrywide are preparing their congresses while calling on for free and fair elections. “We will not leave any stone unturned as anything other than will be frown by the National sport Council, sport is meant to unite people.” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Gambia National Para-Olympics Committee Mr. Sainey Camara quoted the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which enjoined States to recognize, protect and promote the welfare of the physically challenged saying it should not be a situation of persons with disabilities given leftovers in everything in available opportunities in the country.
He added that, the rights of persons with disabilities should be guaranteed by all stakeholders including the State as it sets the space for a more free and fair atmosphere for all individuals regardless of their physicality.
Camara said that, the items presented came from very good philanthropists abroad, who spent over 5000 euros and 2500 dollars, and they owe them their gratitude's. He promises all stakeholders of their support saying the Gambia National Federation of the Disabled who donated 31 pairs of elbow scotches will help athletes to prepare for the forthcoming championship qualifiers in Ghana, Brazil or Tokyo, Japan in 2021.