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Ushirika Day celebration games begin in earnest

Ndegwa Rodgers @NdegwaRodgers

Ulinzi began their netball women’s title defence on a high after thrashing Ardhi Sacco 47-0 in a one-sided Ushirika Day Celebration Council tournament match held yesterday at Railways Sports Club Grounds.

The annual three-day tournament, which incorporates various sports including football, netball, basketball and volleyball, is used to bring together the countries’ co-operative societies (Saccos), Universities, Local clubs and other Government institutions teams.

This year’s edition, which is the 18th edition, was trying to emphasis the Kenyan youths into joining the cooperatives to instil the saving culture.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the competitions, senior deputy commissioner for cooperative development, Geoffrey Njang’ombe said co-operative societies in the country play a big role if the youth are out to eliminate poverty.

“We believe co-operatives are an important and efficient instrument to fighting poverty because they bring people together in a democratic and equal way hence allowing people to take control of their economic future. Social benefits of their activity stay in the community where they are established,” said Njang’ombe.

He added: “We know the youth in the country are in to sports and what a better way to engage them than using the different sports disciplines we have in our competitions to try get them to join the beneficial cooperatives.”

Meanwhile, Western Stima made their intentions clear after an emphatic 67-1 win over Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) in another one-sided clash that had attracted a huge crowd.

KBC players watched helplessly as their opponents went on the rampage to score the biggest win of the day in the women’s handball category.

Subsequently, in the football category, defending champion Kenya Police stunned Aviation college 4-0 in a highly physical match played under the scorching as Last year’s runners up Ushuru started the competition on a bright note after seeing off Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Nairobi West branch side Kangemi Patriots  2-0.

Police coach of Charles ‘Korea’ Omondi is confident of retaining the trophy despite the stiff competition from new teams.

Meanwhile, in the men’s volleyball category prisons won all their three sets while rattling against an inexperienced AP SGB. In the first set prison beat their challengers 25-19 before winning 25-16 and 25 16 in the second and third sets. 

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