Asked to comment on the direction of Gambian football as the new leaders take charge, Mr Thomas a former player and erudite sports administrator with a multi-sports acumen said the only way to catch and build a strong football future is through the school system. “There is ample evidence that Gambian football was appreciated in the past because of the effectiveness of sports in the schools system. All the best footballers in the national team came from schools competitions and Physical Education, PE, was taken very seriously in the education system with teachers specialising in the teaching of PE up to College level and commanding the same respect and recognition as those teaching academic subject,” he said.
He revealed that one reason for the success of schools sports then was the fact that there was a single ministry responsible for both education and sports. “It used to be called Ministry of Youths, Sports and Culture. So you can see because sports was a central part of the education system itself, it naturally receives great attention as any development in sports was a measure of success for the entire ministry. Coordination was very easy since both sectors share the same ministry,” Mr Thomas said. He concluded by urging for the revival of school sports and a more effective collaboration between the GFF and the education authorities.
Read more of Mr Thomas’s interviews on other topics tomorrow.]]>