The Mikindani member of Mombasa County Assembly, Juma Renson Thoya has sponsored sporting activities across his ward with the aim of reducing criminal incidences often attributed to idleness, drugs and alcoholism.
The sports activities cut across all ages and gender with the elderly engaging in sponsored street draft and the youth in soccer, athletics and field games in which winners are awarded cash money, trophies and medals.
Thoya said he has planned for the tournament across the ward with his meagre earnings and called for the locals to appreciate what he has as more will be availed when his resources increase.
“Sports keep the youth together, busy, happy and free them from bad company that encourage spending while many are jobless. I came up with the idea to salvage especially the youth from idling around which lures them to drugs and criminal activities”, said the MCA.
He added that he has contacted numerous potential partners to better the sponsorships where top three winners and all participants will walk home with rewards.
The Mikindani ward village elder in-charge of security, Wanje Ziro alluded to sports having reduced the number of idle youth, saying they were now engaged in sports which confined them to one area where they are easily monitored.
He said the sports also reduce cases of radicalization, drug and alcohol abuse that render many youth and men unable to sustain their lifestyle thus engaging to criminal activities to get money for drugs.
Paul Musyoka, 70, the winner of Sunday’s draft tournament pocketed Sh.5,000, a trophy and medallion after emerging the overall winner in the village draft tournament.
He said draft is a game of the wise which needs a lot of right decision making since one wrong move leads to failure.
He said besides being kept busy by the game he has gained in terms of financial boost to his dwindling shoemaking business.
“This is a January miracle I wasn’t anticipating such an amount because my customers were crying of lack of finances having spent much over the Christmas holiday.” Musyoka said.
The champion said he has been playing draft for 21 years adding that he has coached hundreds of others calling on the government to list the game as one of the major sports for the elderly citizens.
The senior citizen urged men to learn to love and work hard to have enough money to take care of their families which he said will reduce many conflicts in many homesteads.
Cyrus Mwadime came second in the tournament pocketing sh.3000, a medallion and a trophy courtesy of the MCA.
He called for recognition of the game by the national sports organizers in efforts to mainstream it as other games.
Third place went to Godfrey Odhiambo who pocketed sh.1000, a medallion and a trophy.
The MCA said other sporting activities are happening concurrently where next weekend he will be rewarding soccer stars in the ward.
By Joseph Kamolo