Tuesday, December 15, 2009
More info on the football tournament sponsored by Catherine Ndereba
Catherine Ndereba & husband Anthony Muhia Maina during a vist to Karatina, Central Province Kenya
I was curious about this event that Catherine is sponsoring so I asked her about it. She provides uniforms and balls for the players. But I wanted to know even more so I spoke with her husband, Anthony, about it because he is one of the organizers. This is not the first year they have been involved with this tournament. The first year was three years ago but there was no tournament last year due to a tragedy; the man who was the on site organizer and coordinator was struck by a car and killed. Therefore the tournament was not held. This year Anthony is heavily involved in the organizing. I wanted to know why he and Catherine were involved with football. This is what Anthony had to say:
"The soccer tourny is all about bringing the youth together and encourage them to be involved in active livelihood. In Kenya today we are faced with stiff challenges of unemployment and therefore the young guys get involved in risky behavior. One of the ways of keeping them active both mentally and physically is through sports and that's why the tourny. The tourny will be done in play offs and the semis will be done on 27th Dec and Finals on the 3rd Jan 2010 at Miiri primary school.(Not very far from my parents place)"
I was not surprised when I heard his answer; whether it is running, football (soccer), basketball or baseball, involving young people in sports is so instrumental in keeping them out of trouble. It is not unlike in the United States where involving children and young adults helps keep them from joining gangs and going down the wrong path. I recalled an incident in Kenya, (in the same area where this football tournament will be held), back in April just before my crew and I arrived in Kenya for filming with Catherine. I'd heard that there was a clash near where Anthony grew up, and his parents still live, involving the Mungiki sect, known as Kenya's version of the Mafia. I was horrified and even worried whether or not it would be safe to travel there. You can read about the Mathira Massacre as it is known here: Mathira Massacre It is exactly this type of group that Catherine and Anthony hope to help young men avoid by involving them in sports.When young people have enough to fill their time they are less likely to go out looking for things to do which often results in poor choices being made!