Asian sports interest has been limited to cricket and hockey and while many loved an English Premier League team, they rarely played soccer. One school is changing it in a big with all their campuses, Oshwal Academy Nairobi. They held their Annual Sports Honors Day on Saturday and all children from 7years old to 16years old received trophies and certificates for their outstanding performance in sports at the Oshwal Centre. Soccer in Charge Coach Habil Okello said that he loved his job because it offered him the opportunity to see talent develop from the Nursery child to the High school level. He also added that training sometimes started at as early as 6:30am in the morning. And he was proud to mention that the under 12 soccer team was placed second in a tournament held in Spain. Already this exposure is getting children not only to drown in books as the Academy Principal Mr C Banerjee said but to learn and improve on their co-curricular activities. Parents were beaming with joy when their children received their prizes and Catherine Kinyanjui appreciated that with this school and programme of activities her child was able to get better facilities and opportunity still to participate with the public schools and maintain a balanced attitude.
The cricket lion however did roar at the Nairobi Gymkhana on Sunday when the Kenyan Kongonis played against Uganda’s Nile Knights in the East African Cup Final. Kongonis won by 84 runs. I had the opportunity to meet with the CEO of Cricket Kenya, Tom Sears and he was very happy with this tournament as it offered the young players a chance to test their skills and develop for the National Team. Joining him was the Chairman of Cricket Kenya, Samir Inamdar and he was impressed with this tournament and both encouraged the fans to come over to the grounds in such matches and support the spirit of Kenyan Cricket. The Kenyan National Coach Mike Hesson is now looking forward to the matches Kenya will be playing against Ireland in Mombasa in the coming two weeks, which will include a mix of One Day Internationals and the famous 20/20 format.
The country with the highest cricket fever is India, and the proud world cup champions are touring the world as the nation marked the 63rd Republic Day of India. In Mombasa, the Indian High Commission hosted guests including Najib Balala at the Royal Court Hotel. The event was wonderful and continued to promote the great alliance between Kenya and India.
Still close to India and this time in Nairobi at the Lohana Mahajan Mandal was an event the first of its kind- an Inter-Community Bhajan Competition. This event was organized by the Lohana Mahila Mandal and received an encouraging participation of over twenty entries. Participants came from around the country and received vocal training from Nitin Varsani who played the music throughout the competition, accompanied by Vipul Nagnesia. The overall winners were the duo of Vachini Joshi and Sonalben Shah. Most participants sang bhajans (hymns) by Lord Krishna and the audience joined in with the chorus lines and claps. Emcee Mehul Savani handled the job with ease and the light hearted respectable mood while the event was coordinated by his wife Bharti Savani and her great team of Lohana Mahila Mandal.