Governor Waiguru Football Tournament boost local economy as vendors cash in on spectators

Kirinyaga County Governor Waiguru Football tournament has stirred economic activities at the grassroots as vendors cash in on thousands of spectators who turn up to watch matches across all the wards every Sunday.

The football league that was launched in September and expected to conclude in December, has benefited commercial vendors; mainly women and young people who offer food, snacks, beverages, and footwear to the players and spectators.

The County Executive Committee Member for Sports, Culture and Social Services, Dennis has said that the football league has not only given aspiring young footballers hope but has also established new economic opportunities in several wards.

The football league has also improved business in local hotels and created business prospects for

hawking, sportswear apparel, and company advertising.

More than 300 hawkers have acquired commercial opportunities by selling porridge, soft drinks, ice cream, and other commodities with some of them registering sales of around Ksh. 3,000 every Sunday.

The matches also provide opportunities for financial institutions such as Banks and Saccos to advertise their enterprises.

During the fifth round of the Football League on Sunday, Mercy Kimani, an ice cream vendor from Inoi Ward, told her inspiring story of how she is able to support her small family by selling ice cream at the field every Sunday. “I can sell ice cones for Shs. 30 per piece and ice sticks for Shs. 10 per stick. When it is busy, I usually get to sell to around 150 people”. she explained.

The football league is only two weeks away from reaching the sub-county level. Teams are fighting for the Ks. 50, 000 reward for the squad that finishes first at the ward level in the seventh round.

In this tournament everyone will go home with something as the winning team will receive Kshs. 50,000, the second team Kshs. 40,000 and the third team Kshs. 30,000. The teams that come and fourth and fifth will each receive Kshs. 20,000 and Kshs. 10,000 respectively while the sixth to eighth teams will get Kshs. 5,000 each.

Winners of the ward-level matches are expected to proceed to the Sub-County level where 20 teams will battle it out to get to the County level.

In Inoi Ward at Thaita Primary School, Kiranja FC returned home triumphant after defeating Karaini FC 2-1.

Daniel Ndiema salvaged Kiranja FC by scoring a penalty in the 60th minute, beating Karaini FC by one point.

Ferdinard Mwangi, captain of Kiranja FC, was thrilled after their victory and stated that the games are administered fairly and that they have tremendous support from Governor Anne Waiguru.

“As a player, this is a fantastic opportunity for us young people to showcase our abilities. We have a chance to earn money and gain fame. We are more than ready to take home the Kshs. One million prize,” Mwangi remarked.

The Member of County Assembly for Inoi Ward, Fredrick Maina, remarked that they are working with Governor Anne Waiguru to guarantee that all teams play effectively.

“The football league has allowed young footballers to create healthy competition among themselves, as well as to showcase their talents. Furthermore, it has developed and assisted in the growth of enterprises,” the MCA stated.

Kithagi FC pleased spectators in Baragwi Ward by defeating Kiandai Fc 2-0, with Samuel Njoka scoring both goals for the club.

Githage FC’s Captain, Brian Wambugu, stated that his team remained optimistic of progressing to the next round despite the loss to Kiandai FC, calling it a tiny hiccup on the road.

“This league is a major motivation for us, next time we shall work harder to ensure we emerge victorious,” the captain of the team remarked.

The local fans have been an essential part of the excitement. The tournament has attracted huge spectatorship with each team bringing in supporters to cheer its players.

Kiandai FC coach Amos Mugo commended Governor Waiguru for making football entertaining and giving young people a chance to demonstrate and enhance their talents.

The winning team will receive Ksh.1 million, while the runner-up will receive Ksh.750,000. The third will receive Ksh.500,000, while the fourth will receive Ksh.350,000. The fifth will receive Kshs. 200,000, with top teams in each ward receiving financial incentives as well.

The tournament finals are likely to take place around December 10th.

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