This press release is from from the Gina Bass fundraising team which forwarded clarification on her Go Fund Me fundraising which has gathered some negative comments and allegations that Gina Bass was not consulted on the Go Fund Me.
By Gina Bass fundraising team
This gofundme was approved and endorsed by the Gambia’s National Olympic Committee (GNOC) and (IOC) before reaching out to Gina Bass (Gambian star track). Collectively, the (GNOC) committee is working with the creators of this GFM page to motivate and raise much-needed funding needed to subsidize the Gambian athletes prior to the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.
Why is additional funding needed if IOC provides scholarships and funds?
Funding from IOC is limited with strict guidelines and considering that the GNOC solely depends on IOC for all its programs, there is a big gap in meeting athletes’ demand. Unlike other countries whose athletes are supported by their Government through their respective National Olympic Committees, our athletes struggle a lot to compete with top athletes in the field of play due to limited funding.
The Tokyo 2020 scholarship provides funds for qualifying athletes, why are more funds needed?
We have five (5) athletes under Tokyo 2020 scholarship who are training at the Dakar high-performance center. Each athlete is allocated USD 1,000 towards their training, and out of this amount, athletes receive only USD 150 monthly, the rest is paid to directly cover their accommodation, feeding, medical, and other logistics. Their fellow athletes from other countries whose performance is far below Gambia’s current performance statistics and other high performers from high-income countries receive around an extra $1000 as pocket money, monthly. Naturally, Gambian athletes need more monetary subsidies beyond the base scholarship allocations.
Why isn’t the Gambian government stepping in to subsidize?
IOC will cover a maximum of six (6) athletes’ tickets to Tokyo, with the expectation that costs relating to National athletes to the Olympics are covered by the Government, which is usually not the case for the Gambia. Due to current economic constraints, the government is unable to cover the high costs needed by athletics in its entirety. Currently, the ticket cost to Tokyo is around D175,000 ($3,500). The NOC would have to source ways to support other athletes participation if they go beyond the maximum qualified athletes supported by IOC.
What are the funds going to be used for?
The funds will be used to increase stipend allocation for Gambian athletes and other training needs prior to the Olympics. Funds will also be used to purchase athletic gear, cover travel costs, health coverage, fund running spikes, track shoe spikes, and training equipment for home-based Gambian athletes.
Why is Gina Bass the face of the campaign?
Gina Bass has broken track records and has placed the Gambia on the map as a high competitor at a global level. At the recent Spanish 100m track competition, she placed 1st (11.27 seconds ). Her accomplishments and dedication are admirable and she is a symbol to upcoming athletes in The Gambia of how far we can go. She is aware of the campaign and is advocating for other athletes like herself to break barriers. Most importantly, she stated that funds will be allocated to all Gambian athletes in need, especially pertaining to purchasing high-quality athletic gear like sport shoes which can be pricey.
What is our goal?
Collectively, our goal is to increase morale among Gambian athletes not only through funding but by shining a spotlight on their accomplishments. Most importantly, as citizens, it is our duty to fill in the gaps with the government and give back to our nation.
If we do not hit our $15,000 goal, funds collected will be utilized to purchase much-needed gear and donate the rest of the funds to the athletics training in Dakar.
All funds collected will be allocated transparently and monitored by the (GNOC) committee