The President of the Republic of The Gambia, Alhagie Dr Yahya Jammeh, yesterday received at State House the Executive Bureau of the Commonwealth Games Federation, which comprises 71 nations in the world.
Accompanied to State House by a high powered delegation including Sheriff Gomez, the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, their visit was meant to brief the Gambian leader on the three-day general assembly of the Federation in The Gambia.
Speaking at the meeting held at the cabinet room of State House, President Jammeh thanked the Federation for choosing The Gambia for such an important event. He told the delegation that his passion for sports is due to the fact that it is one of the pillars that ensure peace and stability in a society.
He told them that the importance of Sports cannot be overemphasized as it fosters peace, stability and understanding. “Seeing young people meet and make friends through sports is most reassuring and shows that the future of humanity is bright.
Sports is the only competition that ensures absolute peace and tolerance. It is the only competition that allows people to compete, and at the end of the day, the loser embraces the winner,” the Gambian leader observed.
“Looking at the Olympic games, I have seen humanity in its greatest diversity. People come from different corners of the earth, with diverse religions and races and stay together for days without a single incident. This is unprecedented,” President Jammeh said, adding that this goes a long way to show how significant sports is.
According to the Gambian leader, sports is another key way of eradicating unemployment as it encourages young people to be responsible. He then observed that through sports, the ideas of fair play and discipline are inculcated in the minds of young people. He added that it also teaches them to accept failure for improvement in the future.
The Gambian leader thanked the Federation for giving the country the chance to host the meeting. This is the second time it is being hosted on the continent. While assuring them of his support towards the development of sports for the purpose of nation building, President Jammeh also spoke at length about the faithfulness of Gambians to Almighty Allah, which he said is one of the reasons for the friendly nature of Gambians.
Michael Fannal, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, hailed the Gambian leader’s commitment to the cause of sports development. The CGF president told the Gambian leader that one of their objectives for the Banjul meeting is to review the preparation of the commonwealth games.
The CGF president spoke at length about The Gambia’s hospitality, adding that since they landed on Gambian soil, they have felt at home. He acknowledged the support given by the Gambian government, adding that the country’s Foreign Affairs department has aided them very much by ensuring that visas and other facilities were available to the delegates of the 71 member countries.
Sheriff Gomez, the secretary of state for Youth and Sports thanked The Gambian leader for the visit accorded to them. SoS Gomez also spoke about the president’s keen interest in youth and sports development.
Abdou Dandeh Njie, the president of The Gambia National Olympic Committee told the delegation that The Gambia is lucky to be blessed with a dynamic leader who has real passion for sports. While acknowledging the president’s support to the National Olympic Committee, Dandeh Njie hailed him for his personal intervention in the development of Gambian sports.
In a show of appreciation for The Gambian leader’s exemplary role in the development of sports and support for the Federation, the CGF president awarded a certificate of appreciation to President Jammeh. In the same vein, the Gambian leader was also decorated with the General Assembly batch indicating his involvement in the CGF General Assembly.