The fourth edition of the Safaricom Chapa Dimba football tournament was launched at Camp Toyoyo Grounds in Nairobi on Saturday.
The competition that seeks to unearth talents among youths across Kenya comes after a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This years' total prize money for the overall winners has doubled to Sh20 million.
A selected All-Star team of 32 players will also travel to Spain for a 10-day boot camp where Kenya is already assured of two places in the youth side of a yet to be named La Liga team.
Besides, there will be 150 TVET (technical institutions) scholarships for players who will perform well in the Regional, County and National finals.
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa has stated that the telco has committed over Sh400 million to support the tournament which will run from June 2023 to January 2024 in conjunction with the Football Kenya Federation (FKF).
The competition will commence from the grassroots, then to the regional followed by the counties and then to the national levels where the All-Star team will be named.
“We are proud to announce the return of this tournament after a three-year break. Previous seasons have been such a huge success, we intend to enroll even more participants this year," Ndegwa told Standard Sports.
"Football is a beautiful game that brings people together. Its popularity cuts across ethnic lines and social status and is a powerful tool for social change, inclusion, and respect,” he stated.
Safaricom Chapa Dimba aims to provide a structured platform for scouts and coaches to tap into new talent and build feeder systems for the Kenyan leagues across the country, while also training a total of 250 coaches.
"We look forward to forging deeper connections with our customers and showcasing our commitment to transforming lives during the tournament," Ndegwa added.
This year, the total prize money for the tournament has doubled to Sh20 million in order to reward the winning boys’ and girls’ teams in the county, regional and national finals.
The best football players, two boys and two girls will be scouted during each of the regional finals, to form an All-Star team and get an opportunity to visit Spain for a 10-day training boot camp, with two players (boy and girl) getting international placement in a youth team in Spain.
During the tournament, the company will engage with communities across Kenya through free medical camps, financial and digital literacy clinics with key partners and various offers for Safaricom products and services.
“I want to praise Safaricom for supporting various sports developments in our country. Previous editions of Safaricom Chapa Dimba have helped us recruit new, talented players for our clubs and the national teams. We are happy to see the return of the tournament. I believe and hope that this season will be even more exciting and impactful,” FKF president Nick Mwendwa, noted.
The tournament was first launched in 2017 to give young people between the ages of 16-20 years a platform to showcase their talent and get rewarded for their passion.
The tournament has become a much sought-after event by local and international scouts seeking talented footballers.
The tournament has produced many talented players such as Benson Omalla of Gor Mahia, currently a top scorer in the FKF Premier League, David Majak of Tusker, Jentrix Shikangwa of Simba Queens in Tanzania, Jane Njeri, Cynthia Livondo and Judith Osimbo among others.
The tournament which will be open to both boys’ and girls’ teams will kick off with a national registration exercise from May 1, 2023 in Nairobi, Eastern, Western, Nyanza, Rift, Coast, Central, and North Eastern regions.