Chasing Cattle Rustlers: American Football in Kenya Advancing
AFI: American football is definitely a grassroots movement in Kenya. This East African nation lists everything from rugby, soccer and even netball as more popular sports than American football. Nevertheless, a determined band of football enthusiasts is spreading the game and finding ways to get equipment, coaching and even practice fields. Imagine having to chase off cattle rustlers just to be able to practice!
Read a preview from KenyaNFL.com of the upcoming season in Kenya:
2016 is set to be a year of success. Most teams are back to training in their respective fields. Acclimation is key to a good workout.
The teams will have a new look with uniforms, more equipment, intensified practice and coaches on board. Much anticipated to see the football program up and running. This program will not only see players get better at playing the sport but shape the sport’s appearance, locally and internationally.
The University of Nairobi team met for the first time this year with high expectations. Most players were eager to learn a lot more about the sport with new recruits join the team.
Head Coach Dan Eck:
“This year we just don’t want to play for the fun of it, but have a positive impact to the institution supporting us, the players and the nations at large.
“We want to educate and teach young plays the morals of life and how to be respectful people to our society because have seen the potential in them.”
The City Chiefs are out to prove a point and re-write history again. Formerly known as BIFA Spartans, the team was out the local league for 13 months because they did not have a training ground, technical staff and equipment to see the team grow. They recently got access to Umoja primary field with the help of Embakasi West MP George Theuri.
Therui explained to the head coach of the Chiefs, Shaban Suleiman:
“We have to invest in youths for us to be proud as nation.”
Kenya NFL had a chance to interact with the players and get an insight into how they conduct their training. When we got there they were all working on conditioning and football fundamentals. How to catch a pass, ball security etc.
“If we have to get back on track and stay competitive the same way we used to a year ago, we need the basics and gradually transform and intensify our sessions.
The last season champions are having a good time since they are all on a break. Some were seen on the Mombasa beach with the championship trophy talking to locals about the sport.
Felix Osossi, the team captain:
“We didn’t have an easy time to win last year and this year we promise to deliver even better. We have our schedule ready to resume next week and recruit more young players to reinforce and strengthen the existing team.”
Mark Omondi added
“The team is happy to have won and we look forward to special moments in 2016 as well”.
This are the league underdogs. They were on schedule last season but could not honor any of the fixtures due to some challenges. Besides finances, the team struggled with cattle rustlers who invaded their training ground and so they had to cancel practice until the situation normalized.
Cowboys coach Lempate:
“We look forward to a better season this year, we want to compete like any other team and win the trophy.”