16-year-old student and Gambian youth sprinter, Dawda Barry, had the special opportunity of being a Batonbearer for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay during the visit to The Gambia on 20 - 21 October. 

Dawda, who lives with his mother, younger brother, two cousins and aunt in Serrekunda in The Gambia, is committed to his education and hopes to study engineering, which will give him an opportunity to showcase his creativity as well as his innovative ideas.  

But his passion is sprinting. When he was 11 years old, Dawda competed in his first sprint race at school. His inspirations are Jamaican sprinting legend, Usain Bolt and Gina Bass, a Gambian Olympian, who competed in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. Following in his idols’ fast footsteps, Dawda is aiming to pursue a career in sprinting and inspire the younger generations. 

Dawda always strives to do his best, no matter what obstacles he has to overcome, he hopes to motivate the younger generation to take on their own challenges. One of his main motivations in life is helping other people and supporting them in improving their quality of life, particularly his mother, whose happiness and wellbeing has been his principal motivation in life. 

During the Queen’s Baton Relay visit, Dawda spoke about what the Commonwealth Games means to him: