Saturday the 21st of May saw the 2011 Packard Family Cup draw to a close. This annual football tournament brought together 136 teams over five categories ranging from under10s to under 16s and ladies. The reputation of Kibera Mpira Mtaani’s tournaments has grown so strong, teams from as far as Ngong and Kasarani registered and took part this time round.
The idea of this tournament is to give children a focus during the month long holiday in April. The year, the theme of the event was “Amani Lazina” (peace a must) as the Kibera Mpira Mtaani committee feel it is important to preach peace, especially in the run up to the elections due to take place in Kenya in August 2012. By bringing together around 2,500 players, coaches and officials as well as a number of spectators at each match, Kibera Mpira Mtaani’s tournaments provide a forum for trained counsellors to work with children and youths in Kibera to promote positive messages.
After the qualifiers, quarter and semi-finals, the day final arrived for the five final matches to take place. Woodley Stadium was the chosen venue and the stand filled up with spectators and teams waiting for their chance to play. As always, MC Gigi Spice was on hand to keep the crowd entertained and up to speed with the scores and the schedule of matches for the day. The atmosphere was fantastic and there was a buzz around the stadium…especially when a few of the matches went to penalty kicks!
Every final match began in a professional way with the referees leading the teams in to the stadium and forming a line up. Various guests were invited to meet the players and shake hands before giving a word of encouragement. Then, as in all professional football matches, the teams shook hands before the captains stood with the referees to toss a coin to see which team would kick off the match. Regardless of the age of the players, every match is played to the same high standards and even the coaches on the sidelines are expected to display certain behaviours. The awards for coaches are not for those whose teams win but for those who demonstrate good timekeeping, sportsmanship and respect for their players.
The coaches, officials and referees were also given the opportunity to play in a short match on finals day. This was much to the delight of the younger players who watched and cheered them on although there were some comments from guest players about the levels of fitness that the young players must have as a short match managed to tire out a number of the adults!
Awards were presented throughout the day. Every quarter-finalist team was presented with a football, third place to winners received awards including cones, bibs, trophies and cash while the best player and top scorer got individual awards such as football boots.
At the end of the day, a great day had been had by all and the final scores were as follows:
U16: Lexus 3-1 Atlas
U14: More Fire 3-2 Future FC
U12: More Fire won 2-1 on penalties against Black Panthers
U10: African Heroes won 8-6 on penalties against Olympic Strikers
Ladies: Carolina For Kibera won 3-2 on penalties against Girls Soccer
After the great success of this year’s Packard Family Cup, we are currently seeking funding for another tournament in August. If you would like to contribute and be part of another great event, please get in touch.
You can see more photographs from finals day on our Facebook page.