May 23, 2024
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Members of the Kirinyaga County Assembly join Kirinyaga Stars players in celebration after emerging winners of the Tujiamini Cheza Dimba Tournament held at the ACK Good Samaritan School grounds in Mutithi Kirinyaga on Saturday April 13, 2024. L-R Tujiamini In the white hat is Kepha Kariuki Chief officer sport's, in the red Jacket is Mutithi ward Representative Jinaro Jamumo also the Deputy Speaker, County Assembly of Kirinyaga, on the right is Hon. James wambu, MCA Kangai Ward.
Members of the Kirinyaga County Assembly join Kirinyaga Stars players in celebration after they emerged winners of the Tujiamini Cheza Dimba Tournament held at the ACK Good Samaritan School grounds in Mutithi Kirinyaga on Saturday April 13, 2024. L-R Tujiamini In the white hat is Kepha Kariuki Chief officer sport’s, in the red Jacket is Mutithi ward Representative Jinaro Jamumo also the Deputy Speaker, County Assembly of Kirinyaga, on the right is Hon. James wambu, MCA Kangai Ward.

Kirinyaga Stars FC outclassed their regional opponents to emerge victorious in the Tujiamini Cheza Dimba tournament, which marked the culmination of Tujiamini activities in the Central region.

The tournament that took place at the ACK Good Samaritan School in Mutithi Ward, Kirinyaga County, brought together six teams in a hard-fought battle for the top spot, with one winner expected to represent the region in the nationwide tournament at the end of the year.

Based in Kirinyaga County, the club won 1-0 against Galacticos in the finals to walk away with the prize of a three-year sponsorship deal by Sport Pesa worth Kes 250,000 annually. The team will also receive both home and away kits, as well as other benefits such as professional mentorship for the players.

In the group stages, Kirinyaga Stars FC beat Karia FC and Galacticos FC to top Pool B, before proceeding to the semi-finals, where they thrashed Pool A finalist Midway FC 5-0. As fate would have it, they went ahead to set up a tantalizing conclusive fixture against Galacticos FC, who redeemed themselves in their two consecutive matches after suffering a loss during the group stages.

In the semifinal against Murang’a County’s Midway FC, the Kirinyaga Stars showed great resilience and stamina to dominate the entirety of the game.

Buoyed by an excited and charged home crowd, the Stars rallied to score five goals, including one penalty in the second half.

Galaticos FC, Kevin Kimani alias Di Maria, takes off from Kirinyaga Stars' Aren Kimani during the Tujiamini Cheza Dimba Tournament held at the ACK Good Samaritan School grounds in Mutithi Kirinyaga on Saturday April 13, 2024. The NIBS College lost 1-0 to the home side.
Galaticos FC, Kevin Kimani alias Di Maria, takes off from Kirinyaga Stars’ Aren Kimani during the Tujiamini Cheza Dimba Tournament held at the ACK Good Samaritan School grounds in Mutithi Kirinyaga on Saturday April 13, 2024. The NIBS College lost 1-0 to the home side.

According to Kirinyaga Stars Team Manager, Julius Mutiso, the Kes 250,000 award will go towards player welfare in particular; supporting logistics in meeting their league fixtures. Mutiso added that, as one of the leading teams in the FKF county league, they are encouraged and ever more focused on exposing the young and budding talent to such tournaments.

Willis Ojwang, the Communication and Advertising Manager, SportPesa, noted the high number of submissions received from the Central region of over 100 teams, leading to the lineup of the top 6 entrants.

The Cheza Dimba Central region football tournament featured four teams from the larger Kiambu County, with the rest coming from Murang’a and Kirinyaga County. “Even if there is only one winner at the end of the regional activities, no one is walking away empty-handed.

Players from participating teams have received supportive resources such as playing kits and are free to reapply for a chance to feature in the other ongoing Tujiamini activities until December 2024.”

The Tujiamini Cheza Dimba tournament, which aims to provide a showcase platform for both individual and community grassroots sports and related talents, continues to play a huge role in boosting players’ morale in their search for recognition and support in taking their talents to the next level.

“For an amateur team, we did not know that we would be facing highly skilled players. Our Cheza Dimba outing today was quite competitive but well worth it because of the exposure, which will help in improving our game even as we set our targets for the higher FKF leagues,” said Joel Mallow, team captain of Kiambu-based Lions FC.

Kirinyaga Stars' Goalkeeper Jeremy Karanja in action during the Tujiamini Cheza Dimba Tournament held at the ACK Good Samaritan School grounds in Mutithi Kirinyaga on Saturday April 13, 2024.
Kirinyaga Stars’ Goalkeeper Jeremy Karanja in action during the Tujiamini Cheza Dimba Tournament held at the ACK Good Samaritan School grounds in Mutithi Kirinyaga on Saturday April 13, 2024.

As part of the central region culmination activities, the event in Kirinyaga saw the announcement of four winners in the silver categories: Leon Oduor with his entry on rugby coaching and music producer Franklin Ireri, as well as Patrick Mugu, a Kenyan cyclist who ranked 9th overall in the National 2023 Cycling Series, and Kennedy Stephen, a weightlifter ranked Kenya’s 7th strongest man, all walk away with a Ksh. 100,000 cash prize.

Another 80 bronze winners in the county will get various support in the form of sports kits, fees, gym memberships, access to physiotherapy, and nutritionists, among others.

The tournament now moves to the Eastern region, covering 11 counties, where another community club will have the chance to gain a three-year sponsorship that is designed to help clubs realize their goals while addressing key resource gaps such as player welfare, kitting, travel, and accommodation among other needs that tend to hinder the progress of both players and clubs.

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