November 30, 2013

Dining with the President

Suba Laker Esther Juma is a great example to the girls around Mbita that you can be a good student as well as a good football player.  On the 8th Grade National Exam last year she was the 2nd best girl in the entire district, and she received an invitation to join one of the best girls schools in the country, Kenya High School. 

During her first year of secondary school, she had already been selected in the starting 11 for her school's football team.  Their team was invited to a play a match at State House Girls High School which is located inside the compound of where Kenya's President lives.  In the middle of the match, President Uhuru Kenyatta showed up to watch and told the teams that the winning team would be invited for dinner with his family at the State House.  That motivated Esther and her teammates to grind out a hard fought win!  So the Kenya High School Girls Football team enjoyed a nice evening dining with the Commander-in-Chief!

Also, this year at another event, a talent scout spotted Esther and invited her to next year's Continental Cup International Youth Sports Festival in Cleveland, OH.  It is a self-sponsored trip so the family is praying and hoping for God to provide a way for Esther to be able to travel to the U.S.A.  2013 has been quite a remarkable year for Esther Juma!

November 23, 2013

Teens Empowerment Camp at SEEK

This week, our girls who finished 8th Grade recently, attended a fabulous camp in Mbita.  The Teens Empowerment with LifeSkills Camp was organized and hosted by SEEK, Suba Environmental Education of Kenya.  Each local school was able to invite 4 students to the camp.  Because of the Club’s long-standing history and partnership with SEEK, they invited all Suba Laker 8th Graders.  Four of our five girls were able to attend; Theresa, Sharon, Jacinter and Winnie.

The camp schedule was packed, from morning ‘til night,  with great lessons and plenty of fun.  They enjoyed getting to know the other campers through fun team building activities.  The week started with sessions on ROPES: Rights Of Passage Experiences.  The speaker, a skilled youth pastor from Nairobi, spoke about the upcoming transition from primary school to secondary school.  They looked at Biblical examples of men and women who were tough and learned to persevere when life was challenging.  The students learned about the importance of caring for nature through Environmental Resource Stewardship.  A representative from a local bank spoke to them about how to be responsible with their finances.

Community Service was a big focus for the week.  All the campers helped in building a new house for a widow whose home burnt down last year.  Students even had a chance to show their God-given skills in the Talent Show!  The week ended with a huge campfire on Friday night full of singing, dancing, praise & worship and several students giving their lives to Christ.

We’re grateful for such a wonderful, affordable camp to have taken place right here in Mbita.  These girls, and the others who attended, had a wonderful time, learned many things and, for some, their lives are changed for eternity.

Check out the great work of SEEK.

November 13, 2013

8th Grade Graduates

All across Kenya, 850,000 students are finishing 8th Grade this week.  Included among them, are five Suba Lakers.  This is a huge milestone for these girls.  In the region around Mbita where our girls come from, only 43% of girls finish primary school.  Many girls drop out of school before finishing 8th grade because of child labor, pregnancies or early marriages. 

The Suba Lakers Football Club was founded for this exact reason; to use football as a means to impact their lives physically, socially, academically and spiritually.  Football is a motivator for girls to stay in school and work hard so they can continue to pursue their dreams. 

Meet the 5 girls:

Risper Atieno Okumu
Soccer Position: Outside Midfield
Home Village: Leanda, Rusinga Island
School: Leanda Primary School
Age: 16 years
Goal on KCPE: 330+
Desired secondary school: Asumbi Girls Secondary School
Career Dream: Soldier

Jacinter Atieno
Soccer Position: Defense
Home Village: Luanda
School: Nyamsare Primary School
Age: 14 years
Goal on KCPE: 250+
Desired secondary school: Nyaburu Girls Secondary School
Career Dream: Engineer

Teresa Atieno
Soccer Position: Midfield
Home Village: Kombe
School: Christ’s Gift Academy
Age: 16
Goal on KCPE: 300+
Desired secondary school: Butere Girls High School
Career Dream: Nurse

Winnie Akinyi Ogolla
Soccer Position: Striker
Home Village: Kirindo
School: Kirindo Primary School
Age: 15 years
Goal on KCPE: 250+
Desired secondary school: Asumbi Girls High School
Career Dream: Nurse

Sharon Lavender
Soccer Position: Midfield
Home Village: Nyamanga
School: Christ’s Gift Academy
Age: 15 years
Goal on KCPE: 380
Desired secondary school: Kisumu Girls High School
Career Dream: Journalist

We are proud of each of these girls for persevering to the end.  Our hope and prayer is that they pass their National Exams successfully and are able to move on to secondary school next year. 

The Suba Laker Way

We are a football club and we love football.  But, we are about much more than just football.  Here are the priorities we teach our players.

1. God.  In everything we do, we should put God first.  As Matthew 6:33 tells us, we should “seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.”  No matter what we do in our daily life, we should do it for the purpose of glorifying God.  Along with this, it is important to learn and demonstrate good character and good morals. 

2. Family and Others.  We should learn to love others as we love ourselves.  It is often difficult to put the needs of others above our own, but we should strive to care for others, help others and serve others.  In turn, we will have strong relationships which help to develop great unity and teamwork are vital to a healthy and successful life.  Additionally, we challenge the girls to respect their parents/guardians at all times.

3. Academics. All of our players have different abilities on the field and in the classroom.  Not all of them will be able to score high grades and reach the highest levels of education, but we do expect each of them to do the best they are capable of.  We encourage them to work hard in school, respect their teachers, and develop good study techniques. 

4. Football.  Our players are invited to join the club because they have demonstrated good talent and potential.  All of them love playing football and want to become better players.  We encourage them to work hard at mastering the basic skills through consistent practice and to strive to become the best that they can.  By participating in regular training and competing against good competition, they can reach their potential. 

We want each of our girls to develop great priorities in life.  If too much emphasis is placed on football and the other important things are left aside, then they won’t have the balance necessary to become successful!  

Our hope and prayer is that each girl will have a personal relationship with Jesus, love others, do their best in school, and become the best football player they can.