The fourth edition of the Kiptoyot Komas Kasit (KKK) tournament kicked off at the weekend with teams battling out for the top cash prize of Sh3 million up from Sh1.2 million which the winners pocketed last year.
The tournament that brought together over 500 teams was staged across different venues in the South Rift region with electrifying fan base and scouts from across all clubs keen on securing signatures of the hottest properties emerging from the tournament.
“The build up to the tournament has been phenomenal. The buzz and hype around the event is impressive. The people both young and old have demonstrated love for the good game by how they have chipped in to support and rally the youth to actively participate. I have no doubt the tournament will be a success complete with a memorable sporting treat,“ patron and sponsor Senator Aaron Cheruiyot said.
The tournament in the last three editions has seen youngsters tapped into senior ranks by bigger clubs to further sharpen their skills and usher them into fully fledged professionals.
“This is my way of giving back to the society. Our youngsters are gifted with magnificent talent that need to be harnessed and strategically anchored to greatness through properly established structures. It is through such expeditions that new superstars are discovered and unveiled to the world. I have no doubt that the next mega sporting act will be introduced to the world through KKK tournament “ Cheruiyot said.
Last year Lions FC from Soin Sigowet Sub-County secured a 5-4 penalty victory against Laibon FC from Ainamoi Sub-County in the tantalising final.
This year’s tournament is structured around the theme on 'kaa fiti' to sensitise the youth against illicit brew, drugs and substance abuse.
“Young people due to pressures and cares of life are more susceptible to all manner of negative factors including indulging in reckless behaviors that leave permanent scars in their lives. Alcohol and substance abuse is rampant in the region and we are putting cartels out to wreck the young lives on notice. We cannot allow young people to waste their agility, mental acuity and vivacity in perilous misadventures. The youthful exuberance must be put to good use with guaranteed profitable returns," the Kericho County Senator said.
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The Senate Majority Leader identifies cheap illicit liquor as what has killed many promising talents and vowed to eliminate it with help of authorities.
“The liquor sold cheaply in stores is threatening to wipe out generations. It has reduced brilliant young people to zombies. We must do all we can to integrate them into society by creatively establishing opportunities where they can exercise, put their energies into good use and advance their sporting careers. Youth are our biggest asset as Kenya and continent and we must find better ways of leveraging on it to get ahead," Cheruiyot said.
Besides using the tournament to combat alcoholism, Cheruiyot expects the tournament to mirror the Hustler Cup that was mooted by President William Ruto as a viable avenue to fish for talent from the grassroots.
“Going into the future, the tournament will act as feeder to top teams and national outfits. The federation and agencies pertaining doping and ethical standards should be at hand to guide youngsters on how to navigate the challenges of life including stardom and financial literacy. It is a wholesome experience that will equip them with necessary life skills ,” Cheruiyot said.
The tournament ends on December 5.