2011 is sure to be a fulfilling season. With a line-up of strategic trainings planned for coaches, referees, youth leaders, and first-aiders, the capacity of the association will continue to grow, improving the level of football being played by kids in Kisumu. Already, a number of trainings have taken place, including a refresher for current referees, refresher for coaches, and a training for new referees. This is the first time that KYFA has been able to use its own members – newly trained referee instructors – to facilitate referee workshops.
With the Association taking responsibility for the mobilization of teams, the results have been very promising. During 2010, KYFA had 8 leagues being played through Kisumu, but this year, we project at least 12, thanks to the efforts of community leaders who have been encouraging and communicating with local clubs.
On February 5th, KYFA launched a new pilot programme called Kids Can Kick, an initiative to involve 5-8 year-old children in organized football. Facilitated by four volunteers who had recently been trained on sports for early childhood development, the children meet ever Saturday morning at Shaurimoyo field, which had been rehabilitated by KYFA during 2010. In a friendly, fun environment, the 50 boys and girls learn how to kick, dribble, shoot, and work as a team. KYFA foresees that in time, we may be able to start an Under 8 league with such children!
Another development during 2011 is the implementation of the Academic All-Stars Programme. In an effort to encourage youth football players to work hard in school, KYFA is recognizing those who perform at an above-average level after each term. At the end of the season, the players will be awarded with special prizes. It is hoped that this initiative will also bolster support for youth football amongst parents and teachers in the community.
Finally, KYFA is very pleased to announce that the Under 14 and Under 18 Ladies Leagues will be sponsored by Velvex, a Kenyan maker of sanitary pads. This is a big boost for our female players, who will be provided with free pads during their monthly competitions.
Despite this, we still need the support of outside organizations and donors to fund KYFA’s many beneficial programmes for youth. Kids living in the slums and in isolated rural areas lack basic amenities and facilities to play and learn. We at KYFA are trying to change that - one field, one team, one child at a time.
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