By Shadrack Andenga Odinga
Former Kenya women’s rugby national team head coach Ronald Gideon Okoth has taken up the mantle to guide youngsters and nurture their talents in Mukuru slums, Nairobi County.
Speaking to Ruben Fm on Monday, Okoth showed optimism and urged the slum dwellers to take the new sport positively.
“Kenya Rugby Union sent me here. I am glad to have sessions with these young ones. We are not just training rugby, but with the current Covid 19 situation, we do a lot of life skill teachings also. Our target group is from 10 to 18 years of age,” said the Kenya Police and Mount Kenya University rugby coach who also added that the program in Mukuru runs for three days a week.
Ruben Center in conjunction with KRU, is on a mission to expose youths in Mukuru slums to different amenities socially.
The program that runs every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays has seen over 60 children of different age groups taking interest.
“Some years back we started this program in Mathare and we got national team captain Andrew Amonde. We just need to show them that there are many other things apart from the usual football. For kids it’s all about developing an interest. We hope that in four years’ time we will have some boys and girls playing for our country from Mukuru,” said Okoth who also added that his organization is currently in talks with partners from the UK and Australia who might be interested in exchange programs.
If all goes well, the exchange programs also means that for the first time children in Mukuru might have an opportunity to step foot outside the country.
Coach Ronald is now calling upon children of all ages to attend his training sessions instead of being idle during this CoronaVirus pandemic.
It should also be noted that Mukuru slums has registered over 300 girls between the ages of 13 to 17 who have been reported pregnant.
In order to avoid such situations, including other criminal activities, children and the youth in particular are encouraged to visit Ruben Center.