Sports Information & Activities
Things To Do
Pick-up sports are
common in the areas behind the handball courts, though female
players are rather rare. A national teams exists, but isn’t too
big (or exceptionally talented by international standards).
Inter-club cricket is played in league matches organised by
the Gambia Cricket Association, which also organises international
matches. Cricket matches can be watched in the capital's McCarthy
Exercise Machines & Weight Lifting:
Many of the big hotel accommodations
have fitness gyms within their grounds as well as several in the
Fajara Golf Club.
Weight lifting and exercise machines: There are
a variety of weightlifting devices as well as several
exercise bikes available for use at the gym inside
Independence Stadium. The cost for a membership
is about $15 per month. To get to this room, enter
the stadium through the front doors (the side facing
away from the hotel). Leave the lobby through the
door on your right; journey down the long hallway
to find the weight room on the end. Hours are usually
between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Handball is sometimes likened to a
combination of football and basketball. It is played in a 40 by
20 meter (131.2 by 65.6 feet) court, with two netted goals at
either end. The sides of six players and one goalie each attempt
to score goals by dribbling and passing the ball down the court
and into the net. The winning team is the one that scores the
most points during the sixty-minute match. If you want to see
handball in action, look for games in the fenced in, paved
handball court located next to the tennis courts in the
Friendship Hotel/Independence Stadium complex.
Rugby is probably as familiar to Gambians as American
football—not very much at all. However, a variety
of expatriates (mainly scientists from the MRC
and volunteers from Peace
Corps and VSO)
meet twice a week at Leybato Beach
for an informal game of touch. At the time of writing,
these games occur Tuesdays at 6:00 pm and Sunday
at 5:00 pm. All ages and abilities welcome.
estuary of the River Gambia on the Atlantic coast provides miles of
magnificent beaches with warm seas throughout the year. Caution is
necessary, owing to strong currents.
You can play table tennis (ping-pong) inside the Independence
Stadium—enter the main doors (the side not facing the hotel) and
exit the lobby through the door on the left. The table tennis
room is at the end of the hallway, and is generally open Monday
to Saturday, 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Apply within for a membership;
bring about $8.90 and two passport size photos for an I.D. card.
There are tennis courts in the Independence Stadium complex, so
bring a racket and a few balls if you are an enthusiast (they
are rather expensive here for their not-as-good quality).
Tournaments are occasionally held on these courts, as well as
resorts cater for windsurfing,
jet-skis and surfing. Sailing is possible at The Gambia Sailing Club
at Banjul, which welcomes visitors. A notable event is the race to Dog
Island. Additional regattas are organised on special occasions. Both
sea and river fishing is good all year,
particularly line-fishing from the beaches. Several sport-fishing tour operators have
boats are available for sea-angling trips.