This season, through our links with Ridgewood High School in Wollaston, we are working with Sintet Football Club in The Gambia.
The Gambia is in West Africa, and is the smallest country on mainland Africa, surrounded by Senegal except for a short coastline on the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The country is situated around the Gambia River, the nation's namesake, which flows through the country's centre and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Its area is 11,295 km² with an estimated population of 1.7 million. Thanks to the fertile land of the country, the economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and tourism. About a third of the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day
Football in The Gambia
At the time of writing the Gambian national team is ranked 128th in the FIFA ranking – sandwiched between Tanzania & Iceland. The first division has 12 teams, and Real Banjul are the current champions. Below the first division there is a second division, also with 12 teams, and then regional leagues that feed into the national structure.
Sintet FC is one of the 200 or so “non - league” teams that play below the structures described above. The team is named after a small village in the interior near Mansa Konko because that is where most of the players are from, but they play in the Serekunda/Banjul area where they have moved to study or find work. Incomes are vey low and Sintet find it hard to raise funds to enter competitions and provide kit, pay officials’ fees etc.
How can Stourbridge help?
Ridgewood High School has been working with the communities in The Gambia for 6 years now, and are providing us with this opportunity to make a difference for young footballers in a developing country. We have already provided Sintet with kit for the current season, and will be looking to do so again next year, as well as raising the relatively small amount of funding that they need in order to enter and play in competitions.
Over the course of the season we will be putting more information on the website and in match day programmes about how you can get involved.