Thirteen Gambian football coaches will join their peers from Tanzania and Malaysia to attend this year’s US sports visitors programme in Pennsylvania and Florida states.
The coaches 6 male and 7 female were given a sendoff yesterday at the Banjul American International School attended by Ambassador Sharon Cromer. She informed the gathering about the sports visitors programme, saying sports brings people together and make their difference less visible in addition to creating mutual understanding and tolerance. She paid tribute to all those involved in making the Gambia’s participation in the programme, notably Gambia’s sports Goodwill Ambassador Tijan Jaiteh who worked with the Embassy on the selection of the coaches as well as the BAIS for making space available for the entire process. She said she is looking forward receiving the coaches back from their U.S. trip.
In his turn Goodwill Ambassador Tijan Jaiteh thanked Ambassador Sharon and staff, especially public affairs office Susan Solomon for making the opportunity available for Gambian coaches and the Gambia government for the support given to him. He advised the coaches to do well and be ready to come back not just to share the knowledge gained but also to open others to get the same facility in future.
Musa Mbye, deputy Ppermanent secretary at ministry of sports expressed delight about the programme, saying it is in line with the government’s sports policy objective and commended the US government for the opportunity to Gambian coaches. Mr Mbye praised the effort of Ambassador Jaiteh in sports development in the country.
Under this U.S. Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy exchange programme, coaches will visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Miami, Florida from January 7 – 21, 2023, where they will develop knowledge and skills in using sport as a means to teach social skills, mentorship, and life skill development. Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by FHI 360, the Sports Visitor Program brings non-elite youth athletes, coaches, and administrators to the United States for a fast-paced short-term sports cultural exchange with American peers and sports practitioners. The delegation will attend the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia and will also participate in trainings and workshops about leadership, trauma informed care and healing, and mental health throughout their exchange.
The coaches leave Banjul tonight.
The full list of the Gambia coaches on the programme:
1. Ms. Choro Jobe Mbenga
2. Mr. Ousman Jallow
3. Ms. Awa Sowe
4. Ms. Fatou Darboe
5. Ms. Fatou S. Marega
6. Ms. Isatou Saidykhan
7. Ms. Jabou Joof
8. Mr. Abdoulie Sohna
9. Ms. Mariama Sowe
10. Mr. Momodou Ceesay
11. Mr. Baboucarr Jatta
12. Mr. Tijan Jaiteh
13. Mr. Ebrima Jobe