This is a ‘good news story’ from West Africa! The story of a sustainable and ethically friendly football development project that is changing people’s lives in The Gambia
The Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa with a population of less than 2 million people. Known as ‘The Smiling Coast’ due to the friendly nature of the people. The Gambia suffers the same problems as other developing nations but is peaceful and stable.
Gambia has developed into a world class tropical paradise & luxury holiday destination offering a rich and historic cultural heritage, five star holiday hotels, great night life, fantastic beaches, great bird watching, sports fishing, golf, etc
Gambia is well served by cheap charter flights from the UK, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. It is less than a 4 hour flight from Lagos, Abuja, Abidjan, Accra, Kumasi and other West African cities.
Youth Football in Gambia
Youth football is alive and kicking in Gambia. In 2005, Gambia won the U-17 Africa Cup beating much larger and more established African footballing nations such as Ghana and South Africa. They even went on to beat Brazil 3-0 in the U-17 World Cup in Peru that year, before loosing to Holland and being knocked out on goal difference.
Due to the lack of finance, Gambian senior football is not so healthy. As they mature, good Gambian players and coaches are quickly lured away by bigger clubs and teams from neighbouring African nations, Europe and the Middle East. Yet the great African Footballers such as Didier Drogba, YaYa Toure and Samuel Eto’o remain heroes and role models that young Gambians wish to emulate.
G Tech uses the fanatical interest in football of young Gambians as the catalyst for social inclusion, education and community development project amongst the under-privileged youth here in The Gambia.
G-Tech Football Club in Gambia
G-Tech run regular training sessions around Gambia and are based at the Senegambia Football field in the heart of Gambia’s main tourist centre.
Founder Enakeno .K. Arausi takes up the story, ‘We used to come here to train and practice and people started to like what we were doing. Kids started to come from all over and over time we ended up with a squad who had the skills and were prepared to put in the effort and give full commitment.
With all of the activity the tourists started to come up and ask what we were doing. So we explained what was happening and bit by bit we started to gain support.
People have sent us full football strips, balls, boots and training equipment. Some have sponsored our Five a Side or Free Style Tournaments and some support us with trips to the provinces to run workshops, play local teams and deliver donations.
We record everything for our website and Facebook so our supporters can see how we are managing their trust. We have 3 full time teams playing competitive matches and we make regular trips to local villages where we deliver donations and organise coaching sessions and a match.
Our away days help to build team spirit amongst the squad. We often get beaten