Barely three months after the Youth and Sports ministers familiarisation tour, the Ministry of Youth and Sports led by Mr Musa Mbye, the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Technical) at the Ministry on Thursday, April 29th embarked on a day-long site visit to the proposed mini stadia in the rural Gambia.
The visit was meant to allow the Ministry's authorities to have more information about the sites for the proposed mini stadia the ministry intends to build.
The trip commenced from Essau football field in the North Bank Region and ended at Kaur football field in the Central River Region, North. Speaking at Essau, George L. Sonko, Chief of Lower Niumi District, expressed delight at the gesture and thanked the Ministry for the initiative.
Leading the delegation at Essau football field site of 160x 125 square meter land in Essau village, Yankuba Marong, the President of the Essau Youth and Sports development committee said the project came at a time when the people of the district needed it; considering that the villages within the area are populated mainly by young people. "With this project, our young people will showcase their talents in sporting activities and it will create opportunity for the youth in North Bank Region."
The stakeholders made a survey and assessment of the site for the proposed mini stadium.
In Kaur, Musa Jarra, the Regional Youth and Sports coordinator for the Central River Region also acknowledged that the initiative could not have come at a better time; as the people of the district are in dire need of infrastructural development; especially sporting structures.
He emphasised that sports cannot be developed without putting the right facilities in place. He, therefore, expressed hope that the initiative would increase the participation of young people in sports.
Mamat Mbye, the representative of the Alkalolu, equally thanked the delegation for making such a timely visit to Kaur’s 200 x 200 square metre football field, situated at Wharf Town.
Kebba K Touray, District Sports Chairperson for Lower Saloum, said: "We are confident that this project would be successful by the grace of God. All sporting activities were centred in the urban areas; but with the idea of building mini stadia in the regions, it would not only enhance employment creation but also expose the potentials of young people who are into sports”.
Commenting on the site visit at various locations, Musa Mbye, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Technical) at the Ministry, affirmed that the visit was to assess the inception of the site, noting that while the Ministry is eager to implement the projects in earnest, they needed more details before venturing into it.
The DPS assured that the Ministry, under the leadership of Honourable Bakary Y. Badjie, is committed to the attainment of the objectives of sports development and youth empowerment and that these rural sports infrastructural development initiatives are part of this expressed commitment.
The facilities in these new stadia will include dressing rooms, pavilions, administrative offices, water borehole tanks, electricity, ticket sale points, grass pitch amongst others
A consultant has been recruited for the design and supervision of football fields in all the mini stadia the Ministry is working on.