Ahead of next weekend’s national inter-schools athletics championship, defending champions Gambia Senior Secondary School (GSSS) was crowned champions of the Region 1 inter-school athletics heats after they narrowly saw off the challenge from Muslim Senior Secondary School in the senior school category.
Gambia Senior School pulled 381 points, followed by Muslim Senior School in second position with 364 points. Nusrat Senior School emerged third place with 319 points and St. Augustine’s Senior School finished fourth place with 171 points.
The four-day event that was organised by The Gambia Secondary School Sports Association (GSSSA) also saw Latrikunda Sabiji Upper Basic School win the junior school category of the competition after pulling 374 points. Bakoteh Upper Basic School finished second place with 192 points and Abuko Upper Basic School came out third place with 178 points.
About 19 senior schools and 16 junior schools in Region 1 participated in the inter-school athletics heats held at the Independence Stadium’s newly-installed athletics tracks.
The four-day event, which started last Thursday, attracted record turnout and among them included students, teachers, principals, parents and athletics enthusiasts.
In what usually used to be a two horse race between Gambia Senior School and long time rivals St. Augustine’s Senior School, this year’s heats saw a keen competition between Muslim Senior School, Gambia Senior Secondary School, Nusrat Senior School and in some instances St. Augustine’s.
The national inter-schools athletics championship is one of the main highlights of school sports calendars and two schools shall qualify from each zone per event for the national championship slated for next weekend.
According to the Secondary School Sports Association President Martin Gomez, the winners can be good contenders in the national championship.
As to how difficult it was to stage this popular annual event, Gomez said it is never easy especially when there are no sponsors. “This is one event we have never missed to organise unless otherwise.”
The North Bank Region settlement of Farafenni has been hosting the national championship for the past couple of years due to work being done on the athletics tracks at the Stadium.
by Alieu Ceesay