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Call for empowerment through sports as Malindi Soccer Tournament culminates


Apr 10, 2024

The Kilifi Deputy Governor Flora Chibule kicks a ball to officially open the competition at the Malindi Soccer Tournament in Kilifi County

The youth in Kilifi County have called on corporates and businesses to adopt sports teams as a way of creating employment and eradicating social ills.

Speaking at the Bunthwani football tuff, the youth led by Soldier Kaingu said that many youth were languishing in drug dens while others had slid into crime for a lack of an alternative income generating activity yet they are expected to provide for their young families.

Kaingu, 22 years and a football seven a side player challenged the County government of Kilifi to also set up a mechanism of nurturing talent in sports for eventual economic good of the youth.

“Through these initiatives, the youth will abandon drugs and crime and in Kilifi we have a lot of youth whose talents are fading away because we don’t have sponsors. Most youth are idle and if we get these businesses supporting our local clubs then we will be fine,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Hussein Gaga, a seven a side coach who said that adoption of local youth teams by the business community will go a long way in strengthening businesses and also attract fans.

“Sports is employment but we need sponsors and in our area we have so many bug businesses such as salt firms and other businesses and if they come out to adopt teams then many youth will have a place to display their talent and also earn money,” he said.

Mr Abdulmalik Mabelini who runs the Mabelin football team said that he started the initiative to boost the morale of the youth and offer them an opportunity to showcase their talent to the world.

“I started this initiative so that I can show the way for other corporations so that they can also chip in and help the youth who have demonstrated immense talents and which if well nurtured and marketed, they can earn from it,” he said.

Mabeli has in the past two months organized four local seven a side tournaments that has seen more than eight teams take part translating to 160 players participating hence attracting the eye of the Kenya Football Welfare Association (KEFWA) and sports academy Extreme Sports.

Mr James Situma who is the KEFWA President said that county governments had the opportunity of breeding sports among the youth through periodic county leagues that run concurrently with the national tier league.

“I believe that with devolution in our country, every county must have youth structures like youth leagues to make sure that the youth are competing every weekend so that they stay competitive,” he said.

Kilifi Deputy Governor Flora Chibule said that the county had initiated programs to nurture talent and that they had started with Moving the Goal Post (MTG) United football team which she said will be made professional with players earning a stipend.

“By investing as a county in youth programs, we are working with organizations and corporations that will invest in sports for the youth,” she said.

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