Officials from the Association of Italian Sports Clubs(ACSI) in Italy yesterday concluded a three- day visit to Banjul as follow up to a newly established relations with Gambia.
The partnership facilitated by Sports Ambassador Tijan Jaiteh’s Foundation, a non- profit NGO, already secured a foreign coach for the national female volleyball team.
During their stay, Luigi Tardolio head of the ASCI in Umbria and team manager Fillipo Baach held talks with members of the Gambia Volleyball Federation and senior sports officials on the future of the partnership and the projects to be implemented under it. The visitors unveiled plans to support the Gambia national female team with among other things preparation for training camps in Italy for their international assignment in addition to development work at home by coach Roberto Fereneli.
Bai Dodou Jallow, president of the Gambia Volleyball Federation told journalists that the partnership would provide opportunity for the Gambian team to receive quality training both here and in Italy.
Mr Jallow added that the Italian coaches would annually scout good players as well as train Gambian coaches under the programme .
He said coach Fereneli will also work on developmental programmes on Volleyball in Gambian schools.
Mr Jallow thanked Ambassador Tijan Jaiteh for facilitating such a rare opportunity for the Volleyball Federation.
Marcel Mendy, the Executive Director of the National Sports Council (NSC) welcomed the visitors and reported that Gambian volleyball has done remarkably well in the recent .
He encouraged the women players and local coaches to cooperate with their Italian partners in the implementation of the project and assured that government would support opportunities such as the project facilitated by the Jaiteh Foundation which he said brought great opportunities for the youths in volleyball.
Mr Luigi Tardioli President of Association of Italian Sports Clubs(ACSI)- CR in Umbria, Italy praised the partnership saying it be good for all parties’ interest to develop Volleyball in the Gambia.
Mr Luigi thanked President Adama Barrow and his government for encouraging such an opportunity for his people.
Ambassador Tijan Jaiteh told journalists that he is committed to sports development and would always explore opportunities to move Gambian sports forward.
He called on all partners to work hard to support this partnership and project.
Ambassador Jaiteh applauded the efforts of his Italian counterparts and the Gambia government.
Female volleyball players who are the direct beneficiaries of the project wiped tears of joy for the rare opportunity and thanked the visitors and the Italian club.
The Female Volleyball team are expected to travel to Italy for training once arrangements are completed as their preparation for a competition in Rwanda.