The application process for participation at the first edition of the Senegambia Run for Integration was officially opened Saturday at the Senegalo-Gambian Permanent Secretariat in Cape Point.The Chairman of the Organising Committee Mr Abdoulie Kah and deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports in declaring the press conference opened stated that this event is very important and has the full support of his Ministry. He invited Mr George Gomez, the initiator of the event to specify the concept of the event. Mr Gomez disclosed that both Gambia and Senegal have not got an event that impact on sports tourism, which is the largest tourism product in the world. He said he thought of this event almost five years back to see what event can be organised on the road that connects Banjul and Dakar. According to Mr. Gomez he consulted the World Runners UK on few occasions on the proposal and was encouraged by their enthusiasm when they implied that the run could be included in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest relay in Africa.
He added that the run also has the blessings of the two Presidents of Senegal and the Gambia to whom the event is dedicated and the first edition will be held from 19th to 21st January 2019 starting at the foot of the Trans-Gambia bridge in Farafenni which will be opened on that day by President Adama Barrow.
The first leg of the run will end in Kaolack where the athletes will spend the night of the 19 January and proceed on Sunday 20th for the second leg which will end in Mbour for a night stop. The third and final leg ends in Dakar on Monday 21st where the captain of the winning team will hand over a letter of Goodwill to President Macky Sall from President Barrow.
Mr Gomez also revealed that event will be a relay with teams of 12 runners each doing a leg of the distance a day.
The registration for participation was declared open and application forms can be collected from the Gambia Athletics Association office, the Senegalo Gambian Permanent Secretariat, The Ministry of Youth and Sports. Mr Tombong Saidy the Marketing agent appealed to the companies to sponsor the event especially the Tourism board who are going to benefit the most from this event.
Participation fee for a Team of 12, athletes and one Team manager in Gambia is D80000.00 and in Senegal and other Ecowas countries is Cfa 1million..This works out to be D1230 a day for 5 days to cover hotel participation, accommodation, food, transportation and refreshments A question from the floor revealed that the winning team will receive the sum of D300.000, with the Presidents trophy and team coming second will receive D200. 000. with the Ministers trophy. The third place finisher will get D100.000.00 with the main sponsors trophy.