Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru has launched a mega football tournament that will see 200 clubs compete for Sh1 million cash reward for the winner.
The tournament, dubbed the Governor Minji Minji Cup, will run from October 1st to around December 10th this year, when the final match will be played.
Speaking during the launch of the tournament under the theme ‘Nurturing Talent for Livelihood,’ Waiguru said about 5,000 youth from the football clubs will compete from the ward up to the county level.
She said the winning team will get a reward of Sh1 million, while the second will receive Sh750,000. The third will walk home with Sh500,000, and the fourth will bag Sh350,000. The fifth will get Sh200,000, with the top teams in each ward level also receiving cash rewards.
Waiguru pointed out that the two-month tournament will be the largest football competition to have ever taken place in the county and is aimed at empowering youths to generate income from their talents.
‘The county government is committed to youth empowerment through sports, which not only brings the youth together but also helps them realise their full potential. In today’s world, football is big business, and there is money in the game,’ she said.
Ten football teams in each ward, comprising 8 for men and 2 for women, will take part in the competition. The governor said Kirinyaga is coming up well in embracing women in the traditionally male-dominated sport.
‘During this tournament, we shall be scouting for the best players who will eventually form a county team that will be representing us in competitions such as Kenya Youth Inter-County Sports Association (KYISA) games,’ she said.
The Council of Governors (CoG) chair said that Kirinyaga has the potential to produce some of the most sought-after football players, not only in the country but worldwide.
‘I believe among all these players we can produce our own Michael Olunga or Victor Wanyama,’ she added.
At the same time, the county is set to get an additional modern stadium in Gichugu, while Wang’uru Stadium in Mwea is complete and waiting to be handed over to the county government.
‘Officials from Sports Kenya have visited the facility-General Kassam Stadium in Gichugu-and collected data to help make the designs and costing for the facility. The stadium will provide our youth with a conducive environment to practice and hold sports activities,’ Waiguru said.
Apart from the cash rewards, the teams will also receive uniforms, boots, and balls.
‘I appeal to you to engage in fair competition and, most importantly, remember that the tournament is not just about winning medals but also about challenging oneself, pushing hard through the pain, and coming out stronger at the other end,’ the governor stressed.
Source: Kenya News Agency