Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has launched a mega football tournament that will see 200 clubs compete for a Ksh.1 million cash reward for the winner.
The tournament dubbed “Governor Minji Minji Cup” will run from October 1st to around 10th December this year when the final match will be played.
Speaking during launch of the tournament under the theme “Nurturing Talent For Livelihood,” Waiguru said about 5,000 youth from the football clubs will compete from the ward up to the county level.
She said winning team will get a reward of Ksh.1 million while the second will receive Ksh.750,000. The third will walk home with Ksh.500,000 as the fourth bags Ksh.350,000. The fifth will get Ksh. 200,000 with top teams in ward level also receiving cash rewards.
Waiguru pointed out that the two months tournament will be the largest football competition to have ever taken place in the county and is aimed at empowering youths to generate income from 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 of 8 men’s clubs and 2 women’s clubs will take part in the competition.
The governor said Kirinyaga is coming up well in as far as embracing women in the traditionally male dominated sport.
“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,” the governor added.
The Council of Governor (CoG) chair said that Kirinyaga has the potential of producing some of the sought-after football players not only in the country but in the world.
“I believe among all these players we can produce our own Michael Olunga or Victor Wanyama,” she added.
Waiguru said that upgrading of General Kassam playfield in Kianyaga into a modern stadium will commence soon after President William Ruto agreed to help the county undertake the project.
“Officials from Sports Kenya have visited the facility 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.
Waiguru said her administration has over the years supported sport teams through provision of kits among them uniforms, balls, nets, and boots among others.
Apart from the cash rewards, the teams will also receive uniforms, boots and footballs.
“As we begin this tournament, I wish every team the best of luck as they put their best foot forward. 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.