Positives drawn from the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 for team Gambia.

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By Baboucarr Fallaboweh

The Gambia Male and Female U21 beach volleyball participated in their first-ever world championship in Roi-Et Thailand.

Belgium par emerged as winners for the male category while Desy Poiesz & Brecht Piersma from the Netherlands won the women’s category. The young Gambians who were among six African countries in Thailand lost all their three matches.  

Coach Baboucarr Barrow spoke to the Alkamba Times as the team is expected to arrive back on Tuesday.  

“This is the first time we are competing in the U21 world championship, there are lots of things that it has taught us. The atmosphere and environment count, the level of preparedness. We missed a lot in preparation. The level of our opponents compared with us also contributed to the poor results of our first outing.”  

“The exposure factor, you will find that most of these players that are playing in tournaments especially those from Asia, and Latin America, are players that are been exposed to so many competitions compared to the African teams, especially the Gambia. There are lots of things that we must put in place. The levels are not the same, it will be difficult for an African team to qualify from the group stage in the junior categories.”

 

Barrow further on highlighted that only one of his players featuring in Europe also speaks volumes of the level and why they should endeavor to back up.

“Most of our players are going to Qatar because that’s the only place that they are opportune to, one from this U21 has signed a contract in Dubai. Currently, we only have one female player that is playing in Europe.”  

“We have laid so many plans. Although it’s never easy, from the side of the federation, coaches, and players, it’s always a big challenge. Now we are all being proud, to be among three African countries to come to Thailand. More countries from Africa are supposed to be here but they aren’t due to several reasons. We got support from our government, and we represented the Gambia and Africa. We will see how best we can train with the players and go to international competitions.”

“The challenge with the players is the society, which includes their families and in turn, makes it difficult, it affects our training that’s Africa in general for you,” he added.

The Gambia was represented by gold and bronze medalists who conquered Zone II. Laity Nyabally and Marimo Dampha and for the female category, it was Anna Marie Bojang and Fatou Ceesay. This is the first time that the Barrow government is investing in Beach Volley by approving over D1.7M for the CAVB World Championship. 

” I wouldn’t dwell much about why we lost heavily, but among the reasons is the high-class opponents we faced who have been competing for so long and managed to finish in 2nd and 3rd in the tournament. We haven’t been consistent in our preparation either.”

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Baboucarr Fallaboweh
Baboucarr Fallaboweh Sports Editor (Buba Jallow Fallaboweh) is a Gambian football expert, football analyst & columnist. The Stockholm-based Journalist is a media officer, football Scout, PR, Influencer and Digital creator. I started my journalism career as a football analyst in 2012 with Vibes FM and went on to work with CityLimit, West Coast, Hot FM, Freedom Radio, Eye Africa and Afri Radio as a content producer and presenter. In 2013, I attended Football Daily on the BBC SPORTS where we discussed the different styles of Football played in Africa. I Went on to freelance for The Point Newspaper, Freedom Newspaper, Daily Observer and Standard Newspaper before being appointed as Sports Editor with the Alkamba Times in March 2022.  I have worked for Magazines like Glo Magazine and Foot54 covering Gambian football and African Football.   Between 2020 -2021 I worked as a scout for the Gambia Football Federation, scouting talents for the U17 &U20.  From 2017 to 2021, I served as Media officer for GFF First division teams Team Rhino and Marimoo and also as media Officer of Banjul FC, fourth Division tier in Sweden and Darboe’s FC (Female second division club in the Gambia). I served as a PR for Superstars Academy.   With Afrencon, I was a data analyst before I joined LightHouse as a head scout for the Gambia project. In organizational structures, I served as the ambassador of the John Bass Kidney Foundation and one of the founders of the foundation creating kidney awareness in the Gambia.   I also served two positions in the Gambian organization in Sweden, as Sports chairman and the secretary of the associations.   After 12 years of being a football journalist, I was named 3rd best sports column writer in Africa year 2021 by the reputable sports media organization AIPS. I finished in the top 35 in the world with my article titled Back way: Gambian footballers in deadly Voyage to Europe.   With over 500 articles and interviews, analysis, profiling, features and news, I was shortlisted for the Gambia Press Union National Journalist Award 2022. I submitted the article which was co-written alongside Momodou Bah From Living Through Despair to Being An Agent Of Hope, The Inspiring Story Of John Bass.   I have served as an advisers to Football academies, clubs, and players and others. I have hosted dozens of shows and was invited as a guest on both radio, TV and the online press. I also covered the Gambia's maiden AFCON debut in 2021 in Cameroon.  

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