Bananaland Deaf FC, a female football team for deaf women in Nyamira County, is in dire need of financial support, to enable players participate in the forthcoming national tournament.
Ms. Esther Moraa, the Team Captain for the club told KNA that their team is unable to participate in tournaments for deaf women, because they are financially incapacitated, yet they have been practicing and competing with other teams locally.
“Our team has been selected by the Deaf Football Federation of Kenya (DFFK), to participate in the 2nd Edition of the National Deaf Women Football Championship at Bhukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County on 3rd of next month, but we are likely to be left out in this crucial tournament because of the huge financial budget involved, which we are not in a position to meet at the moment,” The Captain said.
Moraa added that the team is struggling against many odds to nurture special sports talents of people abled differently in the county, hence the need for the team to be accorded the support that other sporting activities receive.
“We desperately need all support available to achieve our dream of becoming the best team of the deaf women football players in the country and beyond,” she expressed confidence.
Mr. Brian Otsialo, the Team Coach stated that the players are passionate in the game and are eager to learn and participate in as many tournaments as possible, so that they can also be recognized and supported, just like those visually abled.
“The team players are however constrained financially and are not able to participate in various regional and national matches for deaf women, this situation discourages most players who feel that they are most probably neglected because they are a challenged minority who may not make any impact in society with their sporting activity,” he lamented.
Mr. Yobesh George, the referee for the deaf players in Gusii region said that he is not able to assist the deaf women teams in Nyamira, saying they are unable to facilitate his regular visits.
“The team captain told me that since it’s the players who make contributions to facilitate my transport to assist them play professionally and they are not all financially endowed, I cannot assist them as often as they would wish, because they cannot afford.
He confirmed to KNA that the team will be participating in a national tournament in Bhukhungu Stadium, Kakamega County next month, after which officials will select the best players to participate in an international tournament in Brazil in April.
Nyamira County Director for Sports, Jared Nambaka, told KNA that the County Government has done its best to support Bananaland Deaf FC financially, though the budgets are constrained and clarified that due to the effects of Covid-19, there was no budget allocated for sporting activities in this Financial Year, so the County may not be in a position to meet all their financial need.
“We have been supporting this team to our level best in accordance with approved budgets, but this Financial Year, our sports Department will not be in a position to assist them financially because we have not been allocated any budgets for sporting activities. I advise the team leaders, to source for support from other institutions of goodwill or well-wishers, to support them participate in the forthcoming tournaments,” Mr. Nambaka said.
Bananaland Deaf FC team is comprised of women players who are deaf and dumb, but that challenge has not hindered them from pursuing their passion in football. All they need is an enabling environment and right support, just like other well established teams, to enable them participate in competitions and win medals.
By Deborah Bochere