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Soccer for World Ocean Day in Senegal

Sport at the rendezvous for the protection of the ocean with Mundus maris in the municipality of Hann Bel Air

The celebration of World Ocean Day has become a regular part of their annual calendar for the soccer training schools in the municipality of Hann Bel Air. Indeed, for several years, in collaboration with Mundus maris these schools have not missed a single edition. With the growth of the alliance among the school, the 2023 programme saw the participation of 16 training schools, with one joining at the very last moment to have a total of 17 participating centres.

That's an excellent sign, because they all want to be an active partner.

As usual, the day is celebrated in two phases. It always begins with a beach clean-up on the morning of June 8, followed by a final phase of a soccer tournament dedicated to the ocean.

Thus for the 2023 edition, there was the mobilisation of young residents of the 16 training centers on the morning of June 8 to clean up the beach. There followed a collection of garbage which was transported to the municipal landfill.


Each year the participants are amazed about the quantities of garbage of all kinds, including this time even a discarded piece of furniture they find and remove from the beach. They deserve to be congratulated for their effort. At the same time, like in other places, the question lingers what the municipalities and educational institutions are doing to organise the systematic collection and safe processing of various types of garbage and how citizens are being educated from an early age on using the differentiated disposal system and keeping their environment clean and healthy.

The afternoon of June 8 was devoted to the soccer competition finals. It should be noted that with 16 centers who had expressed their wish to participate, the playoffs started already on May 25, involving two categories: cadets aged between 16 and 17 years old and youngest from 12 to 13 years old. The overwhelming majority of training centers offer courses both categories (adolescent players and the youngest).

You can hardly overstate the enthusiasm generated by this tournament now on the agenda of the sports world in Hann. To appreciate its role Ibrahima Ciss, known as Gabou, and the main collaborator of Mundus maris in relation to World Ocean Day sport activities together with Aziz Babou, his deputy, affirm that the June 8 tournament has become a major event in the annual agenda of the centers of this locality. Gabou keeps saying: "This tournament, which has been organised for several years with the support of Mundus maris, is unique in its kind for its durability, which makes it the only event ensuring a good tournament for these motivated young people who need it to gain experience". For people who live far from the context Gabou refers to, it should be noted that there a number of competitions mostly as one offs often promoted with political undertones on the eve of an election. They are rarely offered regularly. The reliability of the World Ocean Day event generally impresses the community. 

So the anticipation and joy was tangible end May. First for the cadets, there are 8 teams from the following schools: Maison Foot, Challenge Foot, CPH, Mame Rokhaya, Friendship Club, Gonèye Montagne, Vision Foot, Top 11, and Gonèye Fari.

As for the youngest, all centres participated, namely: Maison Foot, Challenge Foot, CPH, Mame Rokhaya, Friendship Club, Gonèye Montagne, Vision Foot, Top 11, Gonèye Fari, Gonèye Bira, School "Mamadou Teuw", Gonèye Mafall, B2 Sports, Olympic Sports, Yarakh United, Selection AMF Bel Air, and Diégo Academy.

All teams received a ball in recognition of their effort and participation.

Here Gabou hands a ball to the captain of one of the teams, who is visibly pleased.

The finals took place in the afternoon of June 8.

That of the youngest saw "Club de l'Amitié" playing against Gonèye Montagne and winning the game.

The final of the cadets pitched "Challenge Foot" against Maison Foot. Challenge Foot won, Maison Foot was second.

Mundus maris, through its vice president, took care of all the logistics and the various rewards made up of balls and trophies.

The particularity of the 2023 edition lies in the fact that two girls played among the boys. They are Seynabou Ndiaye and Maïmouna Sall. Their teams were stopped at the elimination stages.

In consultation with Gabou, Mundus maris thought it was a good idea to reward them for this feat, which is also a way of encouraging other girls to follow in their footsteps.

An exceptional event, an exceptional reward. To reward these girls, the only ones for the moment to play in teams made up of boys, Mundus maris offered each a pair of shoes to play soccer.


Several people took the floor during the ceremony marking the end of a tournament which was a great success both in terms of the participating centers and the number of spectators.

On the part of Mundus maris, Aliou Sall thanked in particular Ibrahima Ciss, called Gabou assisted by Aziz Babou, our main interlocutors with this sporting environment. These two men and their tireless commitment are the garantors of this environment cum sports event and its growing success. The approach of the trainers making the link between sport and environmental health by taking the oceans as a gateway warrants particular praise.

 The team of the youngest of Club de l'Amitié won their tournament  The team of Gonèye Montagne came in second.

For his part, Gabou congratulated Mundus maris for having succeeded in providing sustained support for several years. He returned to the great interest represented by this competition which is unique in the municipality for arousing so much interest. He said that every year, the tournament is eagerly awaited. Last but not least his dream is that this tournament can attract the centers of the other municipalities of the city of Dakar. His ambition is that the celebration of the World Ocean Day be carried forward by these other training schools as well and, why not, the city of Dakar.

The winning cadets Team of Challenge Foot The team of Maison Foot came in second