The chairman of the Kenya Federation of American Football has finally rolled out the primary school/ secondary school outreach program. This is just one of the many programs they had planned for the year in an effort to popularize the sport further.
Earlier this year, KFAF came up with many resolutions including the desire to launch an official league and get the game to the grassroots. Well, it seems like they have embarked on implementation and everything is looking good so far.
The program was undertaken by the Umoja chiefs, one of the teams that is set to showcase their talent in the league later this year, and is sure to trickle down to the rest of the teams especially the university of Nairobi team and the Jomo Kenyatta University team.
Most league teams commence practice on Wednesdays through to Saturdays with Sunday regarded as a day of rest. As it turns out the players will be free to engage with schools of their choice on Mondays and Tuesdays to conduct community service or outreach by teaching the younger generations the new game and trying to get them to express interest and later join the league.
The chairman, Mr George Alwang’a believes that it is possible to get both the primary schools and the secondary schools in the league in the near future. Then the game might also be incorporated into the local games circuit that happens yearly in Kenya.
So the Umoja chiefs, with the stewardship of Suleiman Shaban the team captain have commenced on training younger children from Umoja estate in Nairobi. The team is currently known as the junior chiefs and their training largely comprises of interesting flag football as opposed to contact football. Despite the large size of the football, the young stars seem to be having the time of their life given the engaging nature of the game.
The kids are quick learns and it’s impressive how the want to play the sport every day I come out to train.’ Shaban said. The administration was also very supportive of their bid given it kept the children engaged and excited.
Shaban also expressed his concern on behalf of the kids. They were facing a problem of lack of sizeable balls and flags to augment the beauty of the game. Currently, they are using college footballs which are apparently too big for them.
The children didn’t seem to notice the size of the ball though, given they were experiencing the game for the first time but boy would they have loved it if they could throw the ball and play quarter backs just like in the movies.
This is definitely a big step for KFAF and if they keep the momentum up and high, they might achieve both their short term and long term goals in record time. The precedence has been set. My guess. American Football is soon coming to the Nairobi neighbourhoods. Its too early to call it a revolution but that is what it will be in the coming years.
Pictures for the flag football team.
story by Francis Obunde