As we honour our independence heroes this Mashujaa Day, we also shine a light on the mashujaas in our society who are positively influencing communities through sport. The year 2020 has been marred by a lot of mayhem brought about by the outbreak of Covid-19, however as a Brand, Betway has had the pleasure of interacting with and extending its support to young men and women who are bringing change within their communities through the avenue of sport.
Sport has proven to be a unifying factor across the world. Young adults in Kenya face numerous challenges stemming from lack of employment and poverty. As a result of these challenges, they tend to indulge in vices that prove dangerous to their lives such as crime and drug addiction just to name a few.
Betway embarked on a Sport Development Webinar initiative that featured two guest teams from Dagoretti and Limuru respectively. Dago Stormers, the pioneer team of the initiative, is a team that was put together by Sylvanus Asili Ouma in a bid to keep the players from crime and substance abuse while nurturing their sporting talent.
Founded in 2018, Dago Stormers has made its name in the sprawling slum of Kawangware. The team has worked hard to make a mark in the football scene and played in the county level. Under the guidance of coach Babu Biko, some of the young men have transformed their lives from crime into sports and have also grown on a personal level.
‘’It is encouraging to see some of these young men who were involved in a life of crime transform and become pillars in the community through sport. Asili and I endeavor to impact more young men and change the perception of our community to a more positive one”, said Babu Biko Dago Stormers Coach. ‘’Following the recent support by Betway whereby we received training equipment, the community has begun to take us more seriously as they can see we are heading somewhere and we are able to draw the right backing and support from a corporate”, he added.
WOMEN IN SPORT
As the Betway Sports Development webinar drew to a close, the focus was placed on women in sport where the guest team Limuru Starlets was featured. Founded in 2013, Limuru Starlets’ mission has been to bring women together through soccer who can be agents of change in their communities.
With the various adversities women face in communities in Kenya, Limuru Starlets founder James Kairu wanted to present a different narrative of women in the Limuru community through sport.
‘’Many of the women that play for the Starlets team have risen from various circumstances. After school they would encounter early pregnancies following interactions that they got into when they went to work in the tea farms. As a result, this interfered with their future and I felt the need to change this trend by starting a football club through which they could focus their energy and discover their sporting talent”, said James Kairu, Limuru Starlets Founder.
Despite the challenges that Kenyan sports men and women face such as lack of funding and proper infrastructure, The Limuru Starlets team has gone ahead to compete in various leagues and tournaments. The women emerged winners in the FKF Aberdare Regional League as well as Chapa Dimba Central Region and semi-finalists in the Chapa Dimba nationals.
As we celebrate our national heroes who fought for our independence, we salute the young men and women who are bringing change in their communities through sports to ensure that their peers do not get involved in social vices and waste their talents. Joseph Campbell put it best when he said a hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. We wish all Kenyans a Happy Mashujaa Day and salute our Betway Shujaas that are making a difference in their communities through sport.
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