By Sailu Bah
A British couple donated D105,000 worth of football materials and educational items to Afia football Academy Banjul Foundation. This presentation was made by the British couple from Wales, Craig Goodman and Isabel Goodman on Sunday 11 January 2015, at the Saint Augustine’s Mini stadium in Banjul. The motto of the academy is ‘kick the ball or push the pen’
Receiving the donation on behalf of the Academy, Lamin Jorbateh founder and manager of the Academy, thanked the Couple for their kind gesture. Mr. Jorbateh revealed that this is the third time such kind of donation has been made, adding that this is the biggest since 2013.
He also assured the donors that, the donated items will be utilised properly. He added that it will go a long way in making the children realise their dreams in football and education.
“Afia Football Academy has grown from 30 to 60 children, and we are also very much impressed with the commitment of the children as well as the support of parents,” he remarked.
He also underscored the objective of the academy which he said is to help to create a platform where children would be able to engage themselves and shape their future in becoming future professional footballers.
TijanYulacoach of the academy expressed his profound gratitude to the British couple and expressed compliments for their kind gesture in helping the academy to meet their needs. He further said this will served as a source of motivation for the children and the technical staff of the academy to become more committed in what they are doing.
Speaking on behalf of the parents Lamin Kebbeh head coach Young Africans, a first division team said that, he is delighted to see such kind a gesture from the couple.
He urged parents to also contribute their quota in committing their children to participate fully. He also advised the children to make the best use of the items, and focus on both their education and football.
“This is what we need in The Gambia, to develop our football to an international standard. It is very important to groom young people at the grassroots level and help them become professionals in the future,” he asserted.
The couple Isabel Goodman and Craig Goodman on their part said that, they will continue their support in paving the way for the children in the academy to become professionals in the future.
They indicated that no one knows whether some of the children will play for big teams in the premier league. He also said that they would like the children to be like Modu S Barrow a Gambian football playing for Swansea City in England. “We are trying to make good link for the Academy with big teams in England such as Swansea City which we believe will help a lot. We will also try in the near future to see if these young people can go for trials in other teams in England,” he revealed.
They assured their support and commitment to the Academy.
Some certificates were given to the couple for their outstanding contribution to the Academy. Isabel Goodman was honored as the Fundraising manager of the Academy, and Craig Goodman was honoured as the Live President of the Academy. Other certificates were given to their sister partners in England, Burry Port football Club, CFSN Sidan Rotary, among others.