July 17, 2004 - The Gambia Volleyball Association is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to select top women Volleyball players in the run up to 2004 African Volleyball Championship slated to take place in Lagos,Nigeria later this year.
According to the Vice President and Technical Director Gambia Volleyball Association, Mr Musa Cassa Taal some young talented players have already been discovered in the Greater Banjul Area and The Kombo St Mary Division of The Gambia. ''We are still looking for few others to partake in this championship. We are working tirelessly to mobilise more funds for the team to go for the tournament,'' Taal said.
However, a two-weeks training course coordinated by two International instructors, Mr Abdoulaye Baba Sy from Senegal and Mr Liu Chuanlin from Switzerland, was recently organised for the GVBA. The Gambian National Olympic Committee (GNOC) funded the course, which brought together 22 participants from various clubs and youth groups.
Speaking at the closing ceremony on Friday 9th July 2004, the Secretary of State for Youth and Sports Samba Faal re-affirmed government's appreciation of the efforts of the GNOC in raising Gambian sports to higher heights. He challenged the participants to impart the knowledge gained from the session to the younger ones and participate in government efforts in the decentralisation of sports across the country.
Mr Faal commended the instructors for coordinating the course.''We are very happy that you have come here to train our upcoming volleyball instructors,'' said Mr. Faal.
Mr Abu Dandeh Njie, President of The Gambian National Olympic Committee emphasised the need for more women's participation in the game adding that a lot of courses have been held but the impact of those courses has not been felt.
He noted that on the one hand the GNOC and FIVB recognise the need for more training, and on the other hand course attendants need more dedication to encourage more training programmes.
Mr Abdoulaye Baba Sy From the International Volleyball Federation commended the GVBA for their support during the programme and hoped that after the course,participants will embark on reviving Gambian Volleyball.
Mr Liu Chuanlin expressed his satisfaction with the parformance of the participants and hopes to see a Gambian Volleyball team at International competitions.
Annette Owens delivered the vote of thanks and The GVBA Vice President and Technical Director, Musa Cassa Taal chaired the ceremony.
In an interview with X-Press Magazine, the Vice president and Technical Director of the GVBA,Mr Musa Cassa Taal,revealed that only six teams registered for the league, even though registration forms were sent to all the clubs.''We could not start as schedule because we could not have enough teams for the championship,'' Mr Taal noted.