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The Gambia – kick it like Monika! Gambia

Eight hundred girls from eight primary schools are receiving weekly football training as part of a recently launched grassroots project.

Eight hundred girls from eight primary schools are receiving weekly football training as part of a recently launched grassroots project., © German Olympic Sports Confederation - DOSB

08.04.2019 - Article

In many countries around the world, women and girls are denied access to sport. Eight hundred girls in the Gambia are now receiving weekly football training through a project funded by the Federal Foreign Office.

Sport plays a very important role in the daily lives of millions of people. However, large parts of the population are denied access to sport in many countries. The Federal Foreign Office’s International Sports Promotion addresses this situation. Its aim is to enable large sections of the population to do sport. The focus is on disadvantaged population groups, such as people with disabilities, women and children.

Teaching fairness and respect

“Girls are just as good as men, including on the football pitch and when it comes to self-confidence and enjoyment of exercise.”
“Girls are just as good as men, including on the football pitch and when it comes to self-confidence and enjoyment of exercise.”© German Olympic Sports Confederation - DOSB

Monika Staab, a former professional footballer and a renowned trainer of several professional football teams, has been working in the Gambia since October 2018. She heads up the International Sports Promotion project and is the first woman in a role of this kind. Her job will involve setting up a competitive system and establishing and expanding association structures. She will also train female and male trainers and teach them to share what they have learned with others. Along with information about sport and the idea of gender equality, important values such as fairness and respect are being taught.

The project began its first measures last October, when talks with important stakeholders such as Claudiana Cole, Gambian Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, took place and courses for trainers and sports teachers were held. Eight hundred girls from eight primary schools are receiving weekly football training as part of a recently launched grassroots project. The German Olympic Sports Confederation is managing the project.

Minister of State Michelle Müntefering is the patron of the long-term project, which is funded by the Federal Foreign Office. She said:

With the women’s football project and Monika Staab’s support, we are showing that girls are just as good as men, including on the football pitch and when it comes to self-confidence and enjoyment of exercise.

International Sports Promotion by the Federal Foreign Office

Monika Staab with girls in the Gambia
Monika Staab with girls in the Gambia© Federal Foreign Office / German Embassy Dakar

Sport plays a very important role in the daily lives of millions of people. However, large parts of the population are denied access to sport in many countries. The Federal Foreign Office’s International Sports Promotion addresses this situation. Its aim is to enable large sections of the population to do sport. The focus is on disadvantaged population groups, such as people with disabilities, women and children.

The Federal Foreign Office is thus supporting projects to develop sport structures in countries such as the Gambia. Support is provided for all types of sports, from rowing to volleyball and of course for football, one of the most popular and widespread sports in the world. Despite fundamentally positive attitudes towards sport in general, many countries lack adequate sport structures.

For example, there is no organised talent scouting or youth promotion in the Gambia and only a few trained female football trainers. In particular, girls, who are mostly involved in household work or have to help at home from a young age, receive too little support in the country.

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