The Gambia Wrestling Association GWA has laid foundation stones for constructing 8 arenas that will aim to promote and encourage wrestling in the country.
The 29 million dalasis worth project, with the theme, “Promoting Investments in Culture, Creative Arts and Sports to Enhance Resilience against Climate Change in Local Communities,” is a 3-year partnership flagship project supported by GCCI GNF and GWA.
Among the zones identified to build these arenas includes Buffer Zone, Kanifing Municipality, Ndemban, Foni, WCR, Kwinella, LRR, Brikamaba/Boyeram, CRR-South, Basse, URR, Wassu, CRR-North, Ballangharr, CRR-North, Farrafenni, NBR, Barra, NBR) which has a population of over 1, 170,000 people by stimulating the production and promotion of innovative handicrafts, Arts Works and traditional wrestling Clubs and tournaments.
“The Project seeks to build an enabling policy environment for alternative livelihood opportunities in marginalized rural and coastal communities with high biodiversity sensitivity through the promotion of innovative handicraft promotion and export businesses in addition to the establishment of a network of traditional Wrestling Clubs in the communities to compliment local tourist industries, social cohesion and as an advocate for Climate Change,” said Sering Modou Faye the President of the Gambia Wrestling Association.
He said the project would breed a new approach to socio-economic development and job creation by advancing wrestling and culture-related matters.
“In addition, Wrestling as an influential traditional sport can be harnessed not only for individual health, fitness, and recreation but also promotes education through informal learning, transversal skills, and economic development,” he said
The Executive Director of the National Sports Council, Marcel Mendy, stressed the need to invest in sports and young people to stop young people from taking the ‘backway’ journey. “If we invest in our sport, I bet young people will not risk their lives in the high seas. Young people that risk their lives on the high seas do that not because they are irresponsible, not because they want to commit suicide but rather is because of their desire for them to succeed,” he said. He said investing in sports is the surest way of ensuring young people are empowered.
A Wrestler popularly called ‘Boy Island Bu Tallinding’ received the news with joy. He said this is a good way of supporting wrestling in the country. While calling for more hands in the sport, the young personate wrestler aims to be a ‘popular name’ in the wrestling arena.
“Whenever I close from school, I rush to the fields to do my training. I think is better than engaging in stealing. If we have more support, we’ll be very grateful,” he stressed.