Children’s day out: Kids from slums compete in rugby, sack sprint, potato race and rope skipping

Mathari Primary School sports Winners being awarded medals at the Mathari Primary School sports contest held at Two Rivers Mall Grounds in Gigiri, Nairobi.
Green House are Mathari Primary School sport contest champions.

National Youth Service (NYS) thrashed Tigers 3-0 to lift football category at the Mathari Primary School sport contest held at the Two Rivers Mall Grounds in Gigiri, Nairobi.

Simbas, who edged Chelsea 1-0 in the penalty shootouts after the regulation time ended in a draw.

The NYS, also known as Green House, emerged overall champions of the games with a whopping 58 points. They also bagged the Most Disciplined Team award.

“We had over 1000 children in the competition. They took part in football, volleyball, handball, and athletics.“They also engaged in fun games involving sack sprint, potato race, and rope skipping and dance competitions.

“The games day was meant to help the children to embrace sports at the same time improve their physical, mental and social well-being,” Mathari Primary School Games Master, Boniface Maina, underlined.

Institutions that came on board to equip as well as make the children, who mostly hail from the sprawling Mathare slum, have a memorable sports challenge. Sponsors of the event included Two Rivers Development Limited, Centum Investments, Bata Kenya, Mister Wok, Swarovski, Kubamba Trust and Kurura Chapel.

At the same time, the school took the occasion to introduce rugby to the children to make them learn and adopt a new sport.

“Most of them love rugby. They normally watch Kenya 7s team and their favourite player, Collins Injera, takes part in the IRB World Rugby Sevens Series. So we saw it fit to bring the game closer home so they can be part of it.

“Playing rugby will make them motivated, keep them fit and help them to stay out of crime and drug abuse as they will be busy,” said Maina, who has been at the helm of sports at the school for over two decades.

The games teacher also revealed that plans are underway to introduce cricket at the school next month. He said they would engage Nairobi Province Cricket Association to offer them direction on this.

Head teacher, Mary Koine, while thanking sponsors for the launch of a long-term sports programme with her school, said their hope is to be a force to reckon with in the Kenya Primary Schools Sports Association.

“Our target is to go beyond the Nairobi County level we reached this season, I believe we can qualify in many disciplines to the nationals if we get more support to organise competitions like this to help the children improve their prowess in sports,” Koine highlighted.

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Mathari Primary School