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City of Banjul
Friday, September 25, 2020

THE MAY DAY SPORTS SPECIAL

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History
The May Day Sports was conceived in February 1991 by Mr George Gomez, then the Executive Secretary of the Gambia National Olympic and Sports Committee and started in May of that year. In that first edition in 1991,12 companies participated and the registration/participation fee was D1000.00. The idea behind the sport was:

1. To encourage the working population to use sports and physical exercise as a means of keeping fit.
2. To encourage friendly relationship among the workers in the different fields of the economy.
3. To ensure a healthy and peaceful environment for a friendly and enjoyable sports competition among the workers of the country thereby creating a good relationship among each other.
The Organizers have always asked each participant to try and speak to people they have never spoken to from a company different from theirs and befriend them.

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In the 2nd edition of the May Day Sports the number of participating companies increased to 20 and there was a gradual increase of numbers until when Gomez retired in 2012 when the numbers boarded around 80 companies. The participation fee was increased to D5000.00 in 1994 in view of the increased cost of organisation with almost 40 companies.

In 1998, the Sports Awards was introduced and attached to the May Day sports arrangements. The participation fee was adjusted to D8000.00 and later to D10000.00 to cover the cost of the dinner and dance when certificates for the Sports and Sports men will be done to the Sports Hall of Fame.
The May Day sports is a unique event which has been acclaimed even by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In 1994 the National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) invited the Gambia, and Mr Gomez presented the concept of the May Day Sports to the African Olympic Secretary General at their annual general meeting in Central African Republic and their Secretary General came to Gambia in 1995 to see the Sports.

The IOC approved the event as a suitable Mass Sports and sponsored it under the Mass Sports program in 1992 and in 1995.
This event is now the biggest Mass sports in the Gambia and has attracted several companies to participate in it. It is an avenue for workers to get together to know each other and use the period leading to and following training to keep fit. A fit Nation is a productive Nation. Since the advent of May Day Sports numerous people have taken to the many Gyms in the country and the level of fitness has increased much to the delight of workers. It is therefore necessary to maintain the event.A keen observer of the May Day Sports said in his view since the National Sports Council is no longer giving awards to deserving Sportsmen, the May Day Sports dinner should be stopped and the participation fee for the May Day Sports be reduced to D10000to make it attractive for as many companies to participate in what is a unique event special only to the Gambia.

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