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City of Banjul
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Challenges and opportunities in schools sports

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Secondary schools football has two major components; male football and female football. Each component is in two fragments senior schools and upper basic schools. School football has a solid structure under its terms and conditions.

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Secondary Schools Football Association is charged with organising football competitions for upper basic and senior secondary schools across the country using well defined structures which are the zones. The competitions are held in two stages; the qualifying rounds on a knockout basis which allows schools to compete for the finals. The final championship is in a round robin format. The winner is declared the national champion.

Secondary Schools Football Association is an offshoot of Gambia Secondary Schools Sports Association. In other words it is a subset of the Gambia Secondary Schools Sports Association.

Challenges

Challenges faced by the Secondary Schools Sports Association are numerous and complex which include the following:

-Lack of acceptance of sports in general and football in particular by many school administrators as an integral part of the educational process

-Some parents do not appreciate the involvement of their children in football especially girls

-Lack of funding for the development and promotion of football in schools

-Lack of proper playing grounds in schools

-Lack of qualified personnel to administer football in schools

-Lack of transportation for schools to play one another

-Schools cannot afford football materials for their players

-Educating fans of the laws of the game

-Lack of personnel and resources to administer football in the zones

-Lack of resources to organise yearly football coaching courses for physical education teachers

-Secondary Schools Football Association not being able to select national schools football teams at the end of the championship and expose them in international competition

-Lack of resources in providing trophies and cash prizes for regional winners

-Lack of mobility for the Schools Football Association for efficient coordination, implementation and monitoring of programmes

-The inability to participate in the recruitment of students by local teams

-Difficulties in attracting major sponsors for the football programmes 

-Lack of participation of major stakeholders in meeting matters of school football

-Attracting spectators from the community

-lack of regional stadia in the country

Opportunities

Opportunities are numerous and obvious among them:

-There are three major stakeholders and partners to the Secondary Schools Sports Association; the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Gambia Football Federation-There is an established structure top manage football in schools which is the Secondary schools 

                          Sports Association

-There are established zonal structures across the country

-There is a pool of football talents in the schools

-The game of football is popular

-Schools football provide the opportunity for genuine selection of football of the under 17 and 19 national players and a springboard to become professionals

-There is an atmosphere conducive to put the development of football in the Gambia on a sound footing

-There is an atmosphere for companies and institutions to promote their products.

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