The New African 200m track and field champion Gina Bass, said she’s relying on her latest achievement to change her fortunes from being one of the poorest to a financially stable athlete. ‘’I hope my financial status will change now; Gina tells The Chronicle. ‘’Athletics is my only career that I rely on to support myself and my family’’.
The 24-year old’s most recent achievement came from the African Games in Morocco where she set a new national record of 22:58 after outclassing Ivorian Marie Josee Tallou who is regarded as Africa’s fastest.
Born into what she describes as “a poor home”, Gina is the last of four children, with two sisters and two brothers. ‘’In the beginning I was the one giving her fares to go for training, said one of her brothers Ebou Bass. ‘’I have a wife and children to take care of, you can imagine the financial burden but I always make sure she’s supported in her training, he tells The Chronicle. ‘’With her new status, I hope everything will change for the better.’’
Athletics is one of the lucrative billion-dollar enterprises across the globe, but the new African track and field queen could barely earn 1,000 US dollars when she traveled to represent her country. ‘’Sometimes things are very hard with me and my family, she says. ‘’Most of the times, I am left with nothing when I share my little allowances with my family. ‘’I want to make a good living like other top African female athletes’’.
‘’I hope the situation will change and that I can receive more financial support from the Government, she says. ‘’The National Olympic Committee have been so supportive but they cannot do it alone. ‘’Gambian athletes have been doing well across the continent with little support from the Government, so that has to change,” says Gina.
However, Gina now sets her eyes on not only winning gold medal but also setting another national record timing when the 2019 IAAF World Athletic Championship kicks off in Doha Qatar from September 27th through October 6th.