“Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom”, contested across the country by aspiring young male and female talents in football aged between 16 and 20yrs and now on its third season is living up to its noble course of nurturing talents and transforming lives.
Speaking at Ligi Ndogo Grounds during the launch, Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer said coaching clinics, that will give football coaches an opportunity to gain good level training and will be conducted by a La Liga team-who are part of the Chapa Dimba Partners alongside Football Kenya Federation (FKF).
Mulinge added over 3,000 teams are expected to participate from eight regions including Rift Valley, Eastern, Coast, Central, North Eastern, Nairobi, Nyanza, and Western.
An All-Star team comprising of 32 boys and girls scouted during season three tournament will travel to Spain to train at Real Madrid club.
“When we started this program we didn’t realize the enormous impact it would create. Today, the program is in its third season, and is truly living to its vision of transforming lives,” said Mulinge adding that this year alone the giant telco will be pumping in over 200 million into Chapa Dimba with a mission to nature grassroots sports.
The coaching clinics, noted Luis Cardenas, Head of Business Development Middle East and Africa, La Liga is geared towards multiplying the impacts of the program.
“If you only train players, they will keep the skills to themselves. It is an added advantage to train coaches because they can later transfer the knowledge and skills to many players and this is a step forward in developing grassroots football talent in the country” said Cardenas.
Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa expressed hope in the tournament noting that it has continued to nurture talents that have joined local teams and national under-20 women’s team.
Mwendwa added his office has now taken stringent measures to avoid fielding overage players for the tournament.“At FKF we have embarked on capturing player’s data, especially when registering players in the U-13, U-15 categories through the use of birth certificates to avoid overage fielding of players” He Said.
“I started playing football in class six. I did not know that one day I would board a flight to Spain and watch a great team like Barcelona play. It was a dream come true. I have also joined the national women U-20 team because of my talent, I thank the organizers for giving us the opportunity,” she said.
But the FKF boss took issue with local football clubs’ overreliance on foreign players adding “there is a need to really nurture local talent if our football is to grow”.
The Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom season three registration ends by September this year and the finals held in Mombasa County.