Playing football at Makadara

Youth Play Football at Makadara Grounds

It is projected that by 2017, Kenya will have 24 million people aged between 18 and 35. These are the people who are most active in sports, in nation building and sadly also in societal vices. Why aren’t we trapping the energies of these youth either as players or passionate supporters of community based teams by providing facilities?

At the Makadara grounds in Mombasa, the youth at this ground risk injury, Modi tells us. In the wet season, slippery conditions cause a lot of players to twist their ankles and suffer other forms of injuries. Some have ended their careers because they cannot afford specialized sports injury treatment at times.

Like many of the youth in Kenya, Modi is vaguely aware that the Jubilee promised 5 new stadia in Kenya and Mombasa was one of the places that was to get a new stadium. Speaking to the press, Hassan Wario the Cabinet Secretary for youth confirmed that 1.8 billion is going to be available in 2015 to kickstart the stadia project. It is expected that Mombasa will finally see new stadium in Shanzu developed. In addition, all counties will receive 100 million to raise standards of the stadia.

According to the jubileee manifesto, the Jubilee Government should be in the process of

“Establishing youth development centres in all counties that will house a fully equipped library, an ICT hub, five sports pitches (football, swimming, basketball, netball volleyball)”.

Jubilee Manifesto had a lot in store for the youth

Jubilee Manifesto had a lot in store for the youth

‘ As usual, all leaders have big plans for the youth before elections, yet nothing is ever done for the youth’,

laments a young football player. Another adds,

“For some of us, football is our only hope as we don’t have enough qualifications to get a white collar job or capital to start a business. We look up to people like Wanyama in the English Premier League and hope for a lucky break from this life like they did.”

There’s little hope that the government will achieve the promises for the youth in line with its election manifesto. Notably, Jubilee in their manifesto promised 1 million jobs per year, which would greatly benefit the youth. One avenue for developing talent and achieving part of this target would have been to invest heavily in grassroots sports.

Former Minister of Youth, Gender and Sports Mombasa Hazel Koitaba acknowledged the challenges facing development of youth in sport especially in tapping talent early.

“At the moment, we are incapacitated because majority of our schools lack basic equipment to promote sporting activities.”

Just recently, Ministry of Youth, Gender and Sports in Mombasa announced that Uwanja Wa Mbuzi Grounds will be getting major face-lift & renovation works. A move that will boost sports immensely in the Kongowea area.