Over 10,000 youths, 640 football teams to participate in Governor Wavinya Cup

Governor Wavinya Ndeti launches the Governor's Cup at Iiyuni Grounds in Kalama Sub-county,Machakos on Sunday August 27, 2023 /Photo By Stephen Muthini

Over 10,000 youths will participate in Governor Wavinya Cup Football Tournament in Machakos County where the overall winner will take home Sh1million in an unprecedented move to grow youth talents.

The tournament launched by Governor Ndeti in the company of Football Kenya Federation officials at Iiyuni grounds in Kalama on Sunday will target both young men and women across the 40 Wards of Machakos County, with every Ward represented by 16 teams, making a total of 640 teams across the county.

Winners at the Ward level will take home Sh 20,000 while those who win at the Sub County level will be awarded Sh200, 000.

The top prize will be Sh 1,000,000 for the winners at the county level, Governor Ndeti announced.

While speaking at the colourful ceremony which was also attended by veteran Harambee Stars captain Zedekiah Otieno ‘Zico’ who is now the KCB FC Coach, Governor Ndeti said coaches will also identify talent during the tournament which runs for two months with the aim of mentoring the young players to become professional footballers.

“During my pre-election campaigns, I made a promise that my Government would prioritize the development of youth talents and promote infrastructure for the development of sports and sporting industry in Machakos.

As we kick off the Wavinya Cup tournament today, I would like to emphasize that here in Machakos, we do not take sports for granted, or as an inferior alternative to white-collar employment,” said Governor Ndeti.

Under the theme of ‘Vijana Tusakate Dimba, Wasichana Hatubebi ball, Tunacheza ball’ the tournament seeks to encourage young people to stay away from harmful practices such as early pregnancy and drug abuse.

Katoloni Ladies FC and Athi-river Queens drew 0-0 with Uvule Rhinos vs. Dallas FC also ending in a barren draw in the preliminary matches.

Machakos Scribes also made an appearance and withstood the onslaught of a younger Kititu FC conceding 2 goals to nil in an entertaining Curtain Raiser match at the Iiyuni grounds.

Kititu had earlier beaten Kavyuni FC 1 goal to nil.

Hundreds of fans including high-ranking County government officials led by Sports Executive John Kilonzo turned up to watch the matches.

Last month, the County government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the president of the Football Kenya Federation, Mr. Nick Mwendwa that will pave the way for the establishment of a national Technical Training Centre domiciled at the New Machakos City.

World Football Governing Body (FIFA) has availed a funding of Sh600 million for the project, which starts in January next year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

The facility will include three FIFA-compliant football pitches and other physical amenities including an accommodation complex for players, a referees’ training centre as well as an administration block.

By Stephen Muthini

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