By James K. Attaglo Wilson
The Gambia’s application to rejoin the Commonwealth has been accepted by the Commonwealth Games Federation [CGF] and as such will compete at the Gold Coast 2018 Games in Queensland, Australia.
According to the CGF, the official reintroduction of the Gambia will be held at its General Assembly in Gold Coast on March 31.
The last time Gambia competed at the Commonwealth was at the 2010 Games in New Delhi, India, where the African nation fielded athletes in Athletics, Boxing, and Wrestling.
The Gambian Government withdrew from the Commonwealth in October 2013, therefore missing the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
However, the nation’s new Prime Minister, Adama Barrow, elected in December 2016, swiftly re-applied to join the voluntary association of nations and territories committed to democracy, development and human rights.
President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Louise Martin has urged all the member states to consider the resolution to pave the way for the Gambia to compete at the Gold Coast 2018 Games.
“Following the Gambia’s welcome return to the Commonwealth, announced last month, we have raced against the clock to put forward a resolution at our upcoming General Assembly – in line with our Constitution – to approve the nation’s application to re-join the Commonwealth Games Federation.
“The prospect of The Gambia’s return to the Commonwealth Games is an exciting one and continues the momentum that is currently with the Commonwealth.
“I urge all our members to carefully consider the proposed resolution and pave the way for Team Gambia to compete on the Gold Coast in just 22 days’ time.
“To bring The Gambia back into the Commonwealth Games family would be a great achievement at a hugely exciting and significant time for our resurgent Commonwealth.”
Meanwhile, President of the Gambia National Olympic Committee [Dodou J. Joof] has announced his countries readiness ahead of the upcoming games.
“Since the formal announcement from the Government and Commonwealth Secretariat in February, we have been working closely with the Commonwealth Games Federation to explore and approve the participation of Team Gambia at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“We appreciate that it is a last-minute dash, but the opportunity for our athletes to compete at the Games on the world stage on the Gold Coast is just too important to miss. We thank everyone for their support and look forward to a positive decision on31 March.
‘In the meantime, all our efforts are focused on selecting and preparing six athletes in readiness for competition in Australia.”
Chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Peter Beattie has also welcomed the Gambia into the Commonwealth:
“GOLDOC is pleased to welcome The Gambia back into the Commonwealth and even more pleased to have a team represented on the Gold Coast in April.
” The diversity of the Commonwealth is what makes the Games so special, so it is great to have another wonderful African nation competing.
“In a matter of weeks, we will be welcoming teams into the Athletes Village and I personally look forward to welcoming Gambia’s athletes.”
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