The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) has hosted a session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Adecco's Athlete Career Outreach Programme (ACP) at the Olympic House at Mile 7 in Bakau.
The workshop was delivered by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) Athlete Commission member and ACP trainer Kadidiatou Kanoute Tounkara.
Tounkara is a former basketball player, Olympian and five time French national champion originally from Mali.
She competed for Mali at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing where her team finished bottom of their group after failing to collect a single victory.
Forty athletes aged between 16 and 20, drawn from various National Sports Associations, took part in the maiden international workshop for athletes in The Gambia.
The aim of the workshop was to help athletes prepare for their careers after retirement from elite sport.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Gambia’s IOC member and first Vice-President of GNOC Beatrice Allen said that the organisation's work is based on the demands of the Olympic Charter in which the development of athletes is key to Agenda 2020.
She added that balancing sports and education is also a condition for any athlete to be successful in life.
Allen added the need for grassroots sport development which cannot be achieved without well trained coaches, a priority for the current GNOC Executive for the next four years leading to Tokyo 2020.
The outreach programme started in 2005 when the IOC realised the importance of life after a sporting career.
Tounkara added that the goals of the programme are to provide hands-on workshops to athletes, focused on the three pillars of education, life skills and employment.
It is believed that those will assist athletes to achieve success both on and off the pitch by supporting them at different stages of their careers.
Tounkara also hailed GNOC for providing the workshop for Gambian athletes.