The Gambia national female volleyball team   yesterday returned from a 17-day training in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate. The trip availed the young players with a lifetime experience beyond their wildest dreams. During its stay in Dubai, the team played a number of test matches in top class facilities and discussed possible links of cooperation between the Gambia and UAE volleyball federations.

Pa-Dodou Sarr, technical director of The Gambia volleyball association, who led the delegation said they have learned a lot and saw facilities they never dream of. “Imagine volleyball indoor courts. They have very good facilities over there and we also had meetings with the Dubai volleyball officials who were very receptive and generously hospitable to us. They attended all of our test matches and I think what is now left is for our authorities to follow up this cooperation link,” Mr Sarr said.

He thanked the Gambia’s Goodwill Sports Ambassador Tijan Jaiteh for facilitating the trip.


On her part, coach Marie Wadda said the training camp in Dubai was an important first step in the process to groom young players under a four -year programme. ”We would naturally love to have many of this kind of camps because it helps in the development of players to enable them to effectively take part in competitions,” she said.

Team captain Abie Kujabi said the trip was a good experience as they met a lot of people and had good trainings. “Our coaches were there supporting us too. I think this exposure would help us individually too because we come from different teams and I think the exposure will make us a plus to our teams,” she said.

Tijan Jaiteh, a Goodwill Ambassador for sports whose foundation facilitated the trip, said he is delighted that Gambian volleyball is growing. “I am personally excited that my foundation is able to be associated with volleyball ‘s growth and development. Our focus should always remain exploring avenues and opportunities to develop Gambian sports,” he said. The Tijan Jaiteh foundation already secured a coach for the team from Italy through its cooperation with an Italian sports club.