NAIROBI, Kenya 30th – A local soccer academy is launching a two-week talent hunt in western Kenya for future football stars who will be given a free world class education.
Westpark Soccer Academy based in Nairobi will give opportunities to young talent in the school’s second round of scholarships designed to fast-track a new generation of football professionals.
Westpark coaches and talent scouts will visit 14 centres from 27th this month to 3rd December in Western Kenya. The eleven centres include: Vihiga, Butere, Emuhaya, Mumias, Vihiga High, Malava, Navoholo, and Khiwisero among others.
“Our mission is to seek out Kenyan talent and give these kids the facilities and the coaching to shine on our sporting scene in years to come,” said Mr. Alutalala Mukhwana, program Director.
Westpark School has appointed local co-ordinators at the centres, experienced in football administration. They include teachers in charge of local schools’ games programmes, a locally based Kenya Premier League referee, and Dan Musuku, the Kenya Football Federation Chairman for Western province, who was previously attached to AFC Leopard and has international exposure with the nation team, Harambee Stars.
“This is the kind of initiative that is vital to the development of our Premier league and the future of all-star football in Kenya,” said Mr. Mukhwana.
The academy last year gave places to 30 young and promising footballers found in and around Nairobi’s slums, offering them top-class schooling in the British curriculum, in which Westpark is among the nation’s top performers, but also provides facilities and specialist coaching to fast-track their team’s football skills.
The program places as much emphasis on academics as on sports skills development; Julius Wesley Odhiambo whose parents are deceased wants to become a cardiologist.
At the new trials in western Kenya, each centre’s coordinator will be responsible for sourcing two teams, with 18 players for each side, based on their local knowledge of the area and local players. All the assessment centres will be overseen by a professional coach from Nairobi, Mr. Malenya, who has previous experience with teams such as Reunion and Nyeri Stima.
Westpark will be offering a total of 12 football scholarships following the talent hunt.