Enock Omala is among the excited Boda Boda (motorcycle) ahead of the first ever Boda Boda Football Cup that gets underway at the Jacaranda Grounds in Nairobi on Friday.
The 32-year old father of two is hopeful that the two day tournament will rekindle his passion for football, a game he last played in 2005 while a student at Egetonto Secondary School in Nyamira.
“I will be striking for Kibera FC, my prayer is that we win the tournament,” Omala told Standard Sports at the launch on Wednesday.
Nelly Oaks, the Chief Executive Officer of Oaks Media who graced the occasion, said the tournament aims to promote road safety among the riders.
“We lose so many lives on the road due to careless driving. There’s need to create awareness on this issue.
“I urge the players to exercise a competitive spirit during the championship,” Oaks said.
Tournament patron Willis Raburu said the competition whose prize money is Sh100,000, will also aim at empowering the riders to make very informed decisions while on the road.
“Apart from having the objective to promote the good game of football, we hope the contesr will help the players to exercise caution while on the road.
“It’s high time we avoided reckless driving that is costing lives,” said Raburu.
Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya (BAK) chairman, Kevin Mubadi said the tournament will mould the competitors to be all rounded human beings.
“We have good players in this sector who can take Kenya’s football to the next level.
“We hope their talents will be unearthed by this championship,” he said.
Mubadi added that plans are underway to create a national football league for the excited riders.
“Through this league, the boda boda industry can show the nation the kind of talent the sector posses,” he said.
The regional Jacaranda tournament has attracted 18 teams including two women’s sides.
Soweto Starlets FC and Boda Boda Women FC will curtain raise the finals on Saturday.
The men’s sides registered for the competition include Langata FC,Dagoreti North FC, Dagoreti South FC, Westlands FC,Roysambu FC,Kasarani FC,Ruaraka FC and Mathare FC.
Others are Embakasi North FC, Embakasi Central FC,Embakasi West FC,Embakasi East FC,Embakasi South FC, Makadara FC,Kamkunji FC and Kibera FC.
The regional competition will head to Central Kenya next weekend then the Rift Valley in the subsequent weeks.
“We will traverse all regions of Kenya, top two finalists from each zone will qualify for the national finals in October whose prize money will be Sh1 million,” said Oaks.
Boda Boda Football Cup regional prize money
Sh30,000- Runners Up
Boda Boda Football Cup national prize money