The world football governing body, FIFA, says, “A new era of women’s football is underway in the Gambia,” marked by the success of a four-day capacity-building workshop for women’s football administrators at the GFF’s National Technical Training Centre.
Designed to accelerate the growth of women’s football, GFF, in partnership with FIFA, welcomed 24 women’s football administrators from all over the country to learn about leadership, strategy, financial planning, communication, and sponsorship.
It’s an exciting week in The Gambia! 🇬🇲@TheGambiaFF today kick-off a Capacity Building workshop to help grow the women’s game in the country. The workshop is one of FIFA’s eight Development programs for member associations. https://t.co/WdS5HZ9U29
Best wishes to everyone taking part! pic.twitter.com/B2Kud6IG3d
— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) June 28, 2021
With a diverse range of professional backgrounds, the course participants were joined by key staff from the GFF, including President Lamin Kaba Bajo and General Secretary Lamin M. Jassey, and FIFA representatives and experts who delivered elements of the capacity building workshop virtually. Also in attendance were national team players, club employees, regional association representatives, and women who run NGOs that focus on the growth of women’s football.
The workshop comes when women’s football in the Gambia is thriving, both on and off the pitch. In April 2020, after a series of friendlies and their participation in the West African Football Union Cup of Nations ‘the Scorpions, as they are affectionately known, debuted at 113th place on the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking.
AS A MARRIED WOMAN, YOU SEE ME HERE WITH MY KID. I CAME TO THIS COURSE WITH MY LITTLE BOY OF TWO MONTH’S OLD. I CALL MY HUSBAND EVERY DAY, SO PROUD, TO TELL HIM WHAT WE’VE LEARNT.
“All of the activities this week have focused on growing women’s football in the Gambia,” said one of the course participants, Philomena Jatta. “We have gained so much experience, and now it’s up to us to go back to our clubs and our regions to implement what we’ve learned and grown the women’s game.
“This is such an important, empowering initiative to encourage more women to work in football. As a group, we are motivated to overcome this. As a married woman, you see me here with my kid. I came to this course with my little boy of two month’s old. I call my husband every day, so proud, to tell him what we’ve learned,” said Jatta.
Speaking from the workshop in the Gambia, GFF President Mr. Lamin Kaba Bajo thanked FIFA for their support whilst emphasizing the federation’s determination to grow the women’s game.
“This is a historic moment for the GFF,” he said. ”We did not waste time to grab this opportunity when FIFA made these programs available to all member associations. We have made a lot of progress, but there is still a long way to go. Nevertheless, this is a huge goal kicked for women’s football in the Gambia.
“We will ensure that women’s football continues to develop. Parents are now encouraging their young girls to play football, which is a credit to everyone involved in this program.”