By Ann Wanja
Loresho Primary School under 13 football team flew the Kenyan flag high at the 2012 Milo U13 African Championship held in Ghana. The championship brought together teams from host Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Liberia and Ivory Coast.
Having emerged tops in Nairobi province qualifiers, the team from Loresho earned the chance to battle it out against the other teams from Africa.
Loresho Primary representing Kenya was pooled with Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Kenya lost both games, but they kept their spirits up throughout the games.
“We feel honoured to represent Kenya here in Ghana and we were playing countries with great football heritage. We did our best and at the same time the team has been exposed to great football,” said Clifford Anaya, team captain. He added that the exposure in Ghana gave the team renewed energy and determination to improve their game.
The pupils also visited various places including the Nestle factory, museums and sporting facilities in Ghana.
“I have not been in a plane before and the flight experience was great. Most of us had never dreamt that we could represent Kenya in any international games, but Milo has made this a reality,” said Erick Etole one of the players.
“Though our team did not perform well, they have shown immense skill and talent beyond their age and we believe they will mature to compete well with other African countries,” said Nestle Kenya Managing Director Hakan Misri.
He added that sports are a metaphor for the aspiration, effort and enjoyment of succeeding in life and it is this philosophy the company wants to encourage amongst children in Kenya and across the continent.
“While we had only six countries participating in the tournament this year, soon we will look to include other more African states,” said Misri.
The partnership has been in existence since 2009 and has seen the company provide sports kits, balls, training among other things. Nestlé has announced a Sh5 million sponsorship for 2013 Primary School ball games.