URR Volleyball Team Plead For Support, Decry Neglect of Sport by Regional Authorities

URR Volleyball Team

By: Foday Manneh

The Captain of the Upper River Region’s only volleyball team, Yaya Danjo says his teammates resorted to begging for food in the community during a weeklong training camp organized last year to help build the capacity of the players for the game, saying they have been neglected by the authorities in the region.

“We have been neglected for so long. For 10 years now, we sponsored ourselves to buy shoes, balls, whistles, and nets to motivate young players who have a passion for the game.” Said Yaya Danjo

“In 2021, we organized a volleyball camp in the region at the Gambia College in Basse. We invited experts from Banjul to train our players on the new rules of the game.”

During this camp, the boys had to go out to the community to beg for food to eat. We have engaged and knocked on all doors in URR, including the Basse Area Council to support us either material-wise or financially, but nothing was provided.” Danjo revealed.

The continued lack of support is a common factor derailing sports, particularly volleyball in the Upper River Region where sporting organizations and teams are not given the attention needed to help them excel to their fullest potential.
Football has continually dominated games in the region with championships played throughout the year.

People in the region still enjoy volleyball and the game offers many opportunities for young people whose passion for Volleyball has increased with regular events at the Basse Youth Center and Gambia College, Basse Campus.

Volleyball’s unpopularity in URR is partially due to the lack of opportunities authorities put into the sport, says the team’s captain.

Danjo also stressed that the Regional and District Sports Committees have failed in their responsibilities to serve all sports equally in the region and are unaware of the challenges they face.

In response, the Chairman of the Upper River Region Sports Committee, Mamadi Krumah said the Committee is “responsible for all sporting disciplines in the region with the function of coordinating and supervising.

“We have 20 sports under our domain, including volleyball. We have a cordial relationship with all of these sectors.”

“The volleyball team has never written to us or communicated about their activities. We used to have meetings with all the sports and everyone would be present except for volleyball. It’s only football and athletics that invite us to their activities.”

“Sometime last year, we were invited to a volleyball event by the Regional Youth and Sports coordinator, not the volleyball team itself. During this activity, I made a statement at the opening ceremony and assured them of our support in any way we can. They have not communicated since.” Krumah added.

Famara Jabbie, a player reiterated that volleyball could bring about ambassadors to help stimulate development interest in the region if it is given due attention.

The URR is not represented in regional or national Volleyball competitions mostly organized by the Gambia Volleyball Federation and this prevents the game from reaching its full potential.

“We are a coordinating and supervising body. We don’t implement activities. We are here to support, and it is unfortunate that in the region, it is only in football that teams are creative in raising funds for themselves. We are not responsible for organizing any competition.” the Sports Chairman added.

Mr. Krumah further said his committee is financially strained without funding from the government to run their activities and therefore cannot fund the entire sporting sector in the region.

The Committee chairman pleaded with the volleyball team and committee to engage creative means to raise funds for their activities.

Leave a Reply