November 15, 2011

Holiday Classic Girls Tournament

The Suba Lakers will be hosting an open age Holiday Classic girls tournament on 15th and 16th December at Mbita High School.  The purpose of it is to encourage young girls to develop their football talent.  They are expecting 10-16 teams from around the Western Region of Kenya for the two day tournament. 

No.1      Trophy, Ksh. 10,000, t-shirts, one certificate.
No.2      Trophy, Ksh. 7,000, one certificate.
No.3      Trophy, Ksh. 3,000, one certificate.
*All other participating teams will be provided with a certificate for participation.

Top Scorer, MVP and Best Goal-keeper will be given a football jersey and sh. 500. 

For more information, you can contact the numbers listed below. 

Joe Peterson                                                     Paul Onundo
0734 596 606 or 0713 790 430                       0712 767 092 or 0751 008 819

November 13, 2011

National Trials

One of our Suba Laker Girls received an invitation to attend the Under 19 National Ladies Team Trials in Nairobi this weekend.  Caren Akeyo travelled eight hours to reach Kenya's capital city for the first time in her life.  Seventy players from across the country were invited for the tryouts.  The twenty five players selected will represent the country during a tournament in Lesotho which is near South Africa.  The players camped at a very nice hotel called Sabina Country Inn which is where the National Youth Talent Academy is currently calling home.  They conducted the tryouts at Nyayo National Stadium. 

After the first day Coach Florence Adhiambo made cuts and sent twenty players back home.  Caren survived the first cut but wasn't so fortunate on Sunday.  She didn't make the final cut, but the coaches were impressed with her ability and asked her to come back in two weeks for the under 17 tryouts they will be having as they prepare a team to compete in The Netherlands in December.  Caren is only 16, but shined while competing against some of the best players in the country.  


Looking Ahead to Secondary

Our ten Standard 8 students finished their National Exams on Thursday and are now anxiously awaiting their results which will be released at the end of December.  We are hoping and praying that they will do well and have the opportunity to continue their education in secondary school if they pass and God provides the funds for them. 

Four of those students were invited to a secondary school for a tryout this weekend.  Our club chairman, Paul Onundo, and our team manager Eunice Oluwanda, and myself (Joe Peterson) were able to drive Raisha, Alicent, Lydia and Leah to Siaya County to visit Jera Mixed Secondary School.  Jera is a powerhouse in girls football winning the Nyanza Provencial Championship 11 times in the 14 years since the province began competing in girls football.  This past year they won the province again and made it to the National Semifinals with mostly 1st year students before getting defeated by the eventual national champions.  One of their first year students from Jera was one of two girls in the country selected to go for a special training with Manchester United. 

The school was a little bit far from Mbita.  After crossing the ferry, it took us two more hours driving before we reached.  Upon entering the school gate we were greeted by their players who were ready to give us a tour of the school.  It is a medium sized school with around 500 students.  Each grade has three classes of around 50 each which is a good size for a Kenyan school (most have more than that in each class).  The staff and students were very friendly and helpful to all of us.  It seemed like a big family with the way they interacted. 

After the tour, the girls filled out an information sheet and then they were given a uniform to change into.  It was the same uniform that Jera was given when they qualified for Nationals.  The Jera players took the girls through warm-up drills before they started playing. 

Playing in front of all the students and staff of the school, our girls didn't show any nervousness and competed hard, mixed in with the regular Jera players and other girls trying out.  Alicent scored a goal within the first ten minutes and the others also displayed their talents, while playing very good team ball.  They played three halves which gave the coaches enough time to evaluate the players, but tired the players out; especially since the ones trying out have not been training very much over the past few months while they were preparing for their national exams.  Alicent closed the games with the final goal.  After practicing their penalty kicks, they did some stretching and talked in a group for a while.  The program closed with a great meal and speeches by various teachers from the school and the special guests. 

Overall, we were very impressed with the friendliness of the staff and students.  We liked how organized they were.  The school's academic performanceis above average, but they really try to focus on holistic education by helping their students develop their talents and abilities in many areas.  It is obvious their coach really knows football and how to train a football team.  He is an honest man who interacts very positively with the girls.    

Once the results come out in late December they will offer some of these players an opportunity to come to their school for a reduced school fee.  We were grateful to Jera for giving our girls the opportunity to come and tryout. 

November 5, 2011

Another Milestone Academically

Last night, we prayed for our ten Standard 8 students who are preparing for their National Exams next week.  Pastor Amos came and shared with these candidates and our other primary school girls, along with the club officials.  We had a great time of prayer before sharing a meal together.

800,000 students from across the country of Kenya will sit for the same exam on November 8-10.  The performance on this test will determine which high school, if any, these 8th graders may attend. Last year's Suba Laker graduating class had 7 students.  Through God's provision, each of them was able to move on to secondary school last January, which is not a common occurrence for most girls in Mbita District.  We are hopeful and expecting that all of our ten students this year will also pass and be able to get opportunities to continue their education.  On their practice exams most have them have been performing well.  There is only 1-2 that might be close to not passing, the others should be able to sail through. 

After taking their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam in early November, we will wait for the results to be released at the end of December. This test ranks all of the students in Kenya, and secondary schools use the results to select students to their schools. The best secondary schools try to select the students with the highest scores. There are 5 subjects that are examined in Primary School: Math, Science, Social Studies/Religion, English and Kiswahili. Each of the five subjects is worth 100 points for a total of 500.

This year's class is a special group.  Several of them have been with us even before we officially began the club three years ago.  We have seen these ones grow up and mature before our very eyes.  They have persevered and struggled through many difficult circumstances in their lives to reach this point which the majority of girls in Mbita never reach.  Six of these players have also played up to the National Level in Football for Primary Schools.

The girls who will be taking the exam are Alicent Awuor, Raysher Jedidah, Lydia Awino, Leah Ongojo, Caren Akeyo, Esther Atieno, Ruth Ogallo, Beryl Ogweno, Damaris Awino, Esther Atieno and Dorothy Adhiambo. 

Please pray for them during this stressful time in their lives. Pray for God's peace, for good health and to do the exams with a boldness and confidence that will allow them to be successful. In addition, pray for their futures as they wait to see the doors God will open up for them to continue their education.