The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) is joining forces with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to deliver a Grassroot Development Programme for school-going girls across seven regions in the country.
The project dubbed “GFF Grassroot Girls Programme’’ sets out a vision for school-going girls to double their take-up of the game and ensure they learn basic skills and techniques in football. The objective of the Programme is to identity new talents that would represent The Gambia at both national and international level.
This week, more than fifty girls from eight lower basic schools across the Kanifing Municipality are gathering at the Serekunda East Mini Stadium for a two-hour session per day on ball control, dribbling and passing. At the end of the four-day training, best players will be selected to join another selection of players from similar programs held in Banjul. Similar programmes will be conducted in West Coast Region, Central River Region, North Bank Region and Central River Region.
The Grassroot Football Coordinator of The Gambia Football Federation, Alagie Nyassi said participation-based initiatives and programs for school football were not enough on their own.
The GFF President, Lamin Kaba Bajo described the project as a powerful initiative, adding “we are committed to developing school football because that’s were to get raw talents for our various national team categories’’.
The Next Super Star
Among the GFF Grassroot Girls Programme participants is Aramatta Camara, a 12-year-old student at Talinding Lower Basic School. Her dream is to become a football super star.
Growing up in football-craze Ebo Town, Aramata goes out to play football every weekend at her school’s football field, about 3km away from her house.
The biggest influence for me is my father. Though he wasn’t a great football player, he encourages me to play football after he realized that I love the game,” she tells The Chronicle.
“I often follow him to watch nawettan matches where I saw some great skills and moves. He is the one who motivated me to take up football as well as my education seriously. I am very grateful to my father.”
Aramatta’s hope is to become a national team player and she sees the GFF project as a good first step to achieving her dream.
“I want to thank the GFF for organizing this event. It’s good for us. I’m really happy to be here. I hope to learn a lot from the coaches.”