EU Ambassador Roots For Youth Empowerment In Sports

Deputy Ambassador of the European Union delegation to Kenya Ondrej Simek has hinted to the possibility of the winning team in the Europe day Kenya football tournament that kicked off Saturday to enroll at a football academy in Europe.

Simek said the plan was being worked out but added that its success would depend on the Acakoro football Academy’s capability to identify some talent out of the tournament whose finals would be held on May 17, this year at the Ulinzi Sports Complex in Nairobi.

The ambassador was speaking at Moi girls high school playing ground in Marsabit County after officiating start of a two day football tournament involving 16 teams from local secondary schools and said Acakoro needed to scout for the talents and enroll them for official training.

Simek said once the scouts at Acakoro Academy have identified the talents, context for playing legal football here in Kenya and Europe should be created in order to make the process a success.

The EU has organized the event in four counties of
Homabay, Kilifii, Marsabit and Nairobi with the support of the ministry of youth affairs, sports and arts and the Acakoro football academy to commemorate the integration of the EU as well as mark the 17th edition of the UEFA European Football Championship and the Olympic Games set to happen later this year.

The occasion is like a national day for the European Union, which focuses on the start of the integration aimed at making sure that the conflicts witnessed in Europe during the Second World War do not happen again.

Simek said that the initiative has been successful and symbolic not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world including conflicts witnessed in Kenya.

He said that Marsabit County was selected because it stood out as a region said to have suffered a degree of disconnection from other parts of the country in terms of development, hence the deliberate effort by the EU through the tournament to create an environment that offers the youths an opportunity to transform themselves.

ng to the ambassador, the EU was trying to connect the young players from Marsabit with players from other parts of the country and the football academy and if possible with other teams in Europe so that they could get empowered.

The EU, Simek said, aims at giving recognition to both boys and girls with talents by showcasing them as role models for other youths by their achievements and visibility in the media.

He added that opportunities would be created by connecting them to the Acakoro football academy which is seeking to raise talents around the country as it has links with different teams in Europe.

‘I have watched the first preliminary match here in Marsabit and I am proud with the talent exhibited by these under-17 players,’ he remarked adding that the EU is trying to create opportunities for the young people with aspirations to achieve something in sports with the hope that if the chance was availed they would one day be able to represent Kenya in big sports like the Olympics football tournament.

The European Union in its development corporate programmes has spent hundreds of millions of Euros to fund projects that make connections and opportunities for pastoralist communities, like the Isiolo-Moyale highway and the rehabilitation of rural roads.

Marsabit director of sports and youth development Daudi Imani said the 16 football teams, 8 for girls and 8 for boys, are drawn from secondary schools within Saku constituency.

He said that other institutions will be considered in the future, as it was not possible to involve schools from other sub-counties because of limited time and other logistical factors.

The event that saw fans treated to thrilling football matches of 25 munities non-stop length was also attended by the chief officer for education, sports and youth development, Adan Osman.

Two of the winning teams, one from each side will participate in the semifinals in Nairobi’s Ulinzi sports complex on the 17th of May this year.

Source: Kenya News Agency