Work on the tracks stalled amid speculations that the international funding agencies such as the IAAF among others may have been holding funds in the wake of Gambia’s internal feud over the Olympic committee matters.
As a result of the inaccessibility of the stadium tracks, the Gambia athletics association said they had to send more than a dozen athletes to Senegal to train for the African championship among other things.
But on Monday, the Ministry of youth and sports announced government has pumped almost five million dalasis for the work on surfacing the track to be followed by manufacturing of carpet, with work expected to finish by the end of the year.
‘This is a very good development and I thank the Gambia government for taking good step to help Gambian sports’, a joyous athletics official told The Standard yesterday.
A former Olympian, who begged for anonymity, said the lack of international standard athletics track is a big minus and commended the government for the move.
Another long distance runner who talked to The Standard said the MOYS should deploy all possible means to make sure that the tracks are back to use by the year’s end.
Earlier, MOYS gave D3 million dalasi to the Stadium for renovation of run down hostel facilities. This, plus the new D4.9M.makes a total of almost D8 million, still a bit shy of the D12 requested by the stadium management but a major step towards revitalising this important edifice.
The general manger of the Independence stadium Ebou Faye greeted the news with ecstasy: ‘Very good for the overall revamping of the stadium and important particularly for athletics”.
By Lamin Cham]]>