The fifth edition of the Obama Cup took place on Saturday 8th of February after being postponed for a week due to bad weather. The whole country had been experiencing heavy rains the previous week, but it was clear skies for Saturday’s tournament. Obama Cup 2020 was free entry for fans and by 10 am the games were well underway, and the place was buzzing.
There were sixteen men’s teams from the various spheres of society, corporates, academia and local communities. For the first time, we also had a ladies competition featuring four teams. It was great to see the different personalities each group brought to the tournament, each determined to win the championship playing their way.
The football pitch at Strathmore University Madaraka grounds was divided into four, so at any given time four 7-a-side games were going on. Players and fans were treated to a festival football moving from one pitch to another throughout the day to enjoy the beautiful game.
The games were competitive, and the referees were not having an easy time, every tackle and decision was contested. The final in the men’s cup featured Strathmore University football club against the University’s staff team.
Strathmore University staff team, led by Vice-chancellor Vincent Ogutu, had been boisterous throughout the day, it was very entertaining to see, it was their style, and they backed up all their talk as they made it to the final.
The university students, on the other hand, were the quieter and more efficient team as they navigated their way to the final and true to form, their efficiency was the difference on the day as they beat the staff team 3-0to be crowned Obama Cup 2020 champions.
The champions received a beautiful trophy as well as a cash prize. Thomas Wainaina of Outbreak FC and Syombua from Achievers Ladies FC were the best players both walking away with a DSTV decoder courtesy of event partners Multichoice Kenya.
The tournament organisers Football Foundation for Africa promised to increase the number of events held over the year, allowing for more learning, networking and of course good football.
Tackling Unemployment through Sport
FFA is fully committed to creating opportunities and tackling unemployment through sports. The week preceding the tournament was stacked with workshops geared towards educating everyone on everything off the pitch – the business side of sports, leadership and project management among other skills. The tournaments were facilitated by partner organisations Emerging Leaders Foundation, Project Management Institute Kenya Chapter and Bena Care, and were sponsored by the Strathmore University Alumni Association.
For the fourth year running, OTB Africa, a leading software development company were the main sponsors of the event. Co-CEO Mr John Seno was at the tournament. Speaking at the closing ceremony, he was full of praise for the participants and organising committee for a well-executed event. Mr Seno encouraged the players to continue making full use of their talents to access opportunities and sports and beyond.
The game we love can bring people together and create opportunities both on and off the pitch. Brian Wesala, CEO of FFA, was quick to remind everyone in his closing remarks that this journey will only be successful if we all walk together, and see more participation from fans, players and corporates.
Congratulations to Strathmore University football club and a big thank you to the organising teams and event partners for yet another successful tournament.
A full report will be available later.