Gambia Photo Album

The big game
National Youth and Sports Festival, Armitage High School
Janjanbureh (formerly Georgetown), 1993

Football (soccer) is without question the most popular sport among Gambian youth, and is frequently played among rival school teams. Each December, Armitage High School on Jambanjureh hosts the National Youth and Sports Festival. The festival includes many types of events, such as wrestling, track and field events, and basketball. But for many people the main attraction is the football (soccer) tournament where the best high school players from each region of the country compete for the national championship. The regions which are represented include Central River South (formerly MID), Central River North, Upper River, North Bank, Lower River, Western Division (Brikama), Banjul, and Kombo.

In 1993 the underdog MID team faced the strong Western Division team in what was to become the match of the century. The Western Division team, which draws from several large urban schools near Brikama, was heavilied favored to win. But on this day the MID boys could not be stopped. After a tenacious second half, in the final seconds a screaming shot from an MID forward flew past the hands of the diving Western Division goal keeper, and the final score was MID 4, Western Division 3. It was an upset to remember!

submitted by Richard Smiley

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