A total of 200 teams have enlisted for the Kirinyaga Football Tournament unveiled by the county governor Anne Waiguru.
The winner of the 2 month long tournament will be awarded Ksh.1M. The tourney dubbed ‘Minji Minji Cup’ will run from October 1st to around 10th December.
Speaking during the launch of the tournament under the theme “Nurturing Talent for Livelihood,” Waiguru said that the tournament will witness a total of 5,000 upcoming footballers take part in the from the ward to the county level.
The winner will walk away with Sh1 million, while the first runner up will receive Sh750,000. The third place finisher will receive Sh500,000. The fourth place and and fifth place teams will each receive 350,000 and Sh200,000 respectively.
Waiguru pointed out that the tournament will seek to unearth new football talents and offer them a platform to showcase their talents.
“The county government is committed to youth empowerment through sports, which not only brings the youth together but also helps them realize their full potential. In today’s world, football is big business and there is money in the game,” she said.
Ten football teams in each ward comprising 8 men’s and two women’s teams will take part in the competition with the governor revealing that the tournament will also act as a scouting avenue for the county football side.
“During this tournament, we shall be scouting for the best players who will eventually form a County team that will be representing us in competitions such Kenya Youth Inter-County Sports Association (KYISA) games,” she said.
The Council of Governor (CoG) chair said that Kirinyaga has the potential of producing some of the much sought-after football players, not only in the country, but worldwide.
“I believe among all these players we can produce our own Michael Olunga or Victor Wanyama,” she added.
At the same time, the governor also said that county is set to construct a stadium in Gichugu, further adding that Wang’uru stadium in Mwea is complete and awaiting hand over to the county government.
“Officials from Sports Kenya have visited the facility -General Kassam Stadium in Gichugu- and collected data to help make the designs and costing for the facility. The stadium will provide our youth with a conducive environment to practice and hold sports activities,” Waiguru said.
Apart from the cash rewards, the teams will also receive uniforms, boots and balls.
“I appeal to you to engage in fair competition and most importantly remember the tournament is not just about winning medals, but also about challenging oneself, pushing hard through the pain and coming out stronger at the other end,” the governor stressed.
Report by Mutai Kipngetich