Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Eight teams to face off at the Safaricom Chapa Dimba Western Region finals

Eight teams (four boys and four girls) are expected to battle it in the Western regional finals scheduled for Saturday, the 26th, to Sunday, the 27th, at the historical Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.

In Saturday’s semi-finals, football fans will be treated to a thrilling tournament between Chakol Queens from Busia County and Brenda Girls from Bungoma County in an opening match before Madira Soccer Assassins, who made their debut in the Safaricom Chapa Dimba this year, take on the regional reigning champions Lugari Progressive in the girls’ category.

Later in the afternoon, The Menace, who are the new Kakamega county Champions, will be hoping to claim the region’s top title against Ebwali Boys from Vihiga as the Busia Champions John Osogo alias JSS battle it out for victory against Bungoma’s Compel Sportif in the Boys’ category.

This follows successful grassroots games played across the four counties of Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia and Kakamega that attracted 441 teams. On their journey to reach the regional finals, Ebwali Boys triumphed over Bunyore Assassin with a 4-1 penalty shootout, following a goalless draw in regular time. Simultaneously, Madira Soccer Assassins clinched a 1-0 victory against Maroon Queens in Vihiga County.

Brenda Girls and Compel Sportiff crowned the Safaricom Chapa Dimba Bungoma County Champions

In Bungoma, Compel Sportif and Brenda Girls secured their places in the regional finals after defeating their counterparts Sirare Youth and Kim Girls, with scores of 2-0 and 6-0 in the boys’ and girls’ categories, respectively.

From Busia, John Osogo beat The Teen of Hope 1-0, while Chakol Queens bested Kingandole Queens 4-1, with both teams qualifying for the regional finals. In Kakamega, The Menace and Lugari Progressive advanced by defeating Lugusi 5-4 on penalties and Kakamega Starlets 6-0 in the boys’ and girls’ categories, respectively.

“After winning the county finals, we immediately began vigorous daily training. I know it’s not a walk in the park, but we’re hoping for the best and praying to win because we aim to play in the national finals. Our goal is nothing less than victory,” Said Dickson Simiyu of Brenda Girls.

Valery Nekesa of Madira Soccer Assassins and Brenda Girls’ Esther Mukhwana will all compete for the golden boots at the regional finals as they all have 13 goals.

“Based on what we have witnessed since the commencement of this year’s Chapa Dimba, there is no doubt that the Western region is truly an epicentre of football in our country. Over 400 teams participated in the tournament and showed remarkable talent from the ward level. We are now poised for the regional finals after concluding the county finals. We hope for a large turnout of fans as they support their favourite teams in the upcoming matches scheduled for this weekend. At Safaricom, we genuinely believe in the transformative power of sports,” Said Mr Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom.

The winners from each semi-final group will vie for victory in the finals slated for Sunday, where each winning team (boys and girls) will take home KES. 250,000 and book a slot to represent the region at the national finals in Nairobi early next year. The runners-up teams will take home KES. 150,000 each. The Best Goalkeeper and Top Scorer (boys and girls) will receive KES. 10,000. The Most Valuable Player (Golden Ball) will receive KES 10,000 and an additional TVET scholarship from the Safaricom Foundation.

Players and coach clinics at Baukhungu will precede the weekend matches. They will involve training on various aspects of the football tournament, including using GPS wearable vests, which Safaricom has introduced to aid in scouting players by collecting data and building on the player’s profiles during the matches using globally recognized and accepted metrics.

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“We are also introducing GPS wearable vests, which are AI-powered, with the ability to record metrics associated with the three foundational pillars of performance: Speed, Distance, and Intensity. These three metrics inform players and their coaches what limits they can achieve, how regularly they play at their peak performance, how to be better, and areas of improvement. This football technology will allow for structured and objective scouting and coaching of players,” Said Mr Ndegwa.

Safaricom Chapa Dimba aims to provide a structured platform for scouts and coaches to tap into new talent, build feeder systems for the Kenyan football leagues nationwide, and train 250 coaches. The football tournament targets young people aged between 16 and 20 years old.

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