Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in collaboration with Taita Taveta Football association has launched a youth football league dubbed ‘KPA Taita Taveta Super League’.
KPA Principal Corporate Communication Officer Haji Masemo says the Sh. 10 million football leagues organized and sponsored by KPA will be used to scout for best players to join the corporations football club Bandari FC.
He added that the expenditure indicates the Authority’s commitment in promoting and nurturing talent.
Mr. Masemo spoke as the second edition of the football tournament ended in fanfare in Mwatate Sub County.
During the launch of the derby match amid pomp and pageantry, Tsunami FC warriors were pitted by Kale Kali FC at the Voi sports ground.
The KPA official says the sport event is also designed to productively engage the youth and steer them away from crime, drug and substance abuse and other social vices.
He says KPA supports several football, volleyball and basketball clubs in the coastal region as part of KPAs initiative of social outreach programs.
According to Masemo, drug addiction and abuse has been a general concern in the area and that as KPA they are genuinely disturbed hence the need for such events.
“Many youths are facing drug abuse and crime in our society, that’s why we have decided to launch the league programme to empower more youths to engage in sporting activities as a way of keeping them occupied,” said Masemo.
The sporting event featuring 32 teams came to a thrilling conclusion amid cheers and fanfare from spectators to signal the end of the tournament.
The scintillating football tournament is the brainchild of KPA and among other things seeks at raising awareness on the adverse effects of drugs and substance abuse among youths.
The tournament in which local teams salivate for hefty cash prizes and trophies is aimed to unearth football talent and promote the sports at the grassroots level.
Mr. Masemo says the tournament is a testament by KPAs commitment towards promoting local sports.
“We recognize the impact sports have in bringing people together and providing a platform for the youth to showcase their skills. We understand that young people need opportunities to display their talent and for this to happen we need to have more of these tournaments,” said Masemo.
Mr. Masemo says the tournament is aimed at equipping the youngsters with core values, knowledge and skills needed to realize their full potential as footballers of the next generation.
The public relations officer expressed optimism that the local youth would soon join and play in Premier League teams. All the 32 Taita Taveta clubs were presented with jerseys, football boots, and balls.
Danson Munyalu, captain of Kamito FC thanked KPA for their continued support promising that local teams would uphold excellent performance.
Munyalu encouraged continuous investment in promoting sporting activities as it has a positive impact on the well-being of players and their performance.
Taita Taveta Football Association Vice Chairman Mr. Hassan Mwaniki commended KPA for organizing the tournament with passion and love.
Mr. Mwaniki placed great emphasis on such sporting programs saying it was through such events that future football talents were harnessed from the lowest level to the highest level.
He asked the KPA to expand the local league to the other parts of the coastal county so that football talents could be unearthed across the region.
Mr. Mwaniki says this sporting championship is very crucial and should be encouraged because it can produce a lot of talents and players for the higher levels.
He said the tournament provides an opportunity for the local youth to showcase their football talents in a professional manner.
He noted it takes discipline and commitment to be a sportsman and once you begin nurturing your talent you can make a professional career out of it.
Mwaniki said KPA sponsorship has helped to revive the ailing clubs in Taita Taveta County besides providing them with sporting kits.
“We are engaging football clubs from the grassroots level; the teams have benefited from balls, football boots, nets and uniform to the 32 teams,” said Mwaniki.
The Vice Chair said KPA is also catering for allowances of referees overseeing the tournament, transport allowance for the teams and insurance of the players during the tournament.
The tournament is supposed to end in March this year to pave the way for a similar tournament for ladies.
By Hussein Abdillahi