Observer Sports has been sounding the opinion of athletes and coaches on their level of preparations regarding this year’s Gambia Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) national inter-schools athletics championship. The three-day sporting event opens today (Friday) afternoon at the Independence Stadium’s newly-installed athletics track.
Thousands, including students, teachers, parents, and athletic enthusiasts, will crowd the stadium’s pavilions to watch and cheer athletes of their past and present schools.
Preview of Nusrat SSS
Nusrat Senior Secondary School is one of the highly respected schools in terms of academic excellence. However, the Bundung-based school was the new revelation in the Region 1 athletics heats, haven finished 3rd place with 319 points above St. Augustine’s Senior Secondary School.
‘We Can Do Both’, was the slogan the school came up with to the athletics heats last weekend and indeed they never disappointed.
Jainaba Touray is one of Nusrat’s best female athletes. She told Observer Sports that she is ready to replicate the same performance when she takes to the tracks today.
As to what inspired her to take up athletics, Touray said she is inspired and encouraged by the great athletes she watches on the international stage. “I want to be like them one day. “We are ready because in terms of education we lead and in the area of sports, Nusrat is coming up,” Jainaba Touray told Observer Sports.
She finally calls on both past and present students of Nusrat to come out and watch what the students of the school would do on the tracks. “We want to make a difference this year and let the senior secondary schools get ready for Nusrat as victory is certainly ours,” she affirmed.
Latrikunda Sabiji Upper Basic School (LKSUBS) will also return to the tracks today with the hope of retaining their title for the fourth consecutive year.
The school was, last weekend, declared winners of the Region 1 heats after after scoring 374 points. Bakoteh Upper Basic School finished second place with 192 points and Abuko Upper Basic School came out third with 178 points.
The female captain Awa Dibba told Observer Sports this week that her school is ready for the challenge of defending the title.
She disclosed that the athletics team trained twice a day in the entire week. “My brain might not be too good when it comes to academics but with sports I can become a celebrity in The Gambia and the rest of Africa. I intend to take sports as my career,” the teenager told this medium.
She warned their opponents to get ready as it is not going to be easy with any school.
Sheikh Tijan Ngum of the LKSUBS team said victory is only for those who work towards it and they are determined for that victory once more.
“Sport plays a major role in the development of any country, and The Gambia cannot be an exception as we hope and pray for a better Gambia.”
Preview of Bakoteh UBS
Bakoteh Upper Basic School finished second place behind Latrikunda Sabiji in the junior school category during the heats. Yusupha Jarju, Physical Education Teacher at the School said his athletes were fully prepared for the competition. According to him, the team is far better compared to previous years as they have improved on the fitness and commitment of athletes.
“We are sending signal to other schools that Bakoteh Upper Basic School is coming with full force and that they should watch out for our athletes,” he told Observer Sports.
Preview of St. Augustine’s SSS
Mbemba Gibba of St Augustine’s Senior Secondary School expressed frustration at the dull performance of his school in the heats.
He said since the departure of former Principal, Martin Gomez, sports is not given the due attention it deserved. He urged the new Principal to give due attention to sports.
Mamud Waggeh said St. Augustine’s is losing so many good athletes, saying sports has greatly helped in selling the image and name of the school
Preview of Gambia SSS
Athlete Yaya Saidy of The Gambia Senior Secondary School is one of the students very proud and glad to represent his school in such championships.
After his outstanding performance in the heats, Saidy is looking forward to the finals.
Sheikh Omar Jobe said Gambia Senior School is fully prepared to retain their title this year, while warning other schools to get ready for the challenge.
Musa Touray said their school has the best coach (Momodou Njie) and there is no doubt they can prevail over other schools.
Compiled by Awa Gassama,
Lolly Camara, and
Jainaba D Jatta