I was delighted when I learnt that The Gambia would make its first ever appearance at the Paralympics last night and everyone at The Gambia Experience sends wishes of welcome and good luck to the two athletes Demba Jarju and Isatou Nyang.
The Gambian National Paralympics Committee (GNPC) became a member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in 1999 but have not competed until now.
Isatou Nyang (also known as Ida) is 28 years old and was lucky enough to receive a wild card invitation to the games. She will be performing in the Women’s 800 metres T54 on 4th September at 10.15am and hopefully the final the day after at 9.30pm and again in the 100 metres on 8th September Round 1 at 11.25am. The final is at 7pm that night.
Demba Jarju, 23, met the qualifying target and will be competing in the Men’s 100 metres T54 on 1st September at 12.25pm for Round 1 and hopefully the final on 2nd at 8.35pm. He will also be in the 800 metres on 5th September at 10.20am for Round 1 and the final is the next day at 9.05pm
I will be eagerly following their endeavours and cheering them on. I hope this will inspire other people in The Gambia with disabilities and that this is the first of many such appearances at the games.
They are both competing with wheelchairs donated by the Swiss Paralympics Committee.
David Morley, the UK High Commissioner to The Gambia sent his good wishes to the Gambian Paralympic athletes.
“I am delighted that for the first time ever, The Gambia is sending a team to the Paralympic Games. Ida Nyang and Demba Jarju will join over 4,000 athletes from more than 150 countries competing in the second largest sporting event in the world. It is 64 years ago that the UK hosted the first ever disability games where just 16 ex-servicemen took part. Now just 64 years later I hope these games will show that harnessing the skills and potential of every person in society benefits us all.
I had the pleasure to meet the athletes a few months back and again want to wish them the best of luck for their competitions and hope the entire delegation has an enjoyable and rewarding trip to London.”
UK High Commissioner David Morley