Planning for women football


Published on 06/02/2009

JAMES WAINDI spoke to Rachael Kamweru, chairperson of Women Football Development Committee.

QUESTION: Women football has been overlooked. Being the head of the women football committee what are your plans to end this?

ANSWER: Women football has been overshadowed (not overlooked) by men because the feminine game was introduced by Fifa in the late 1990s but introduced in Kenya only in 2000 and was only active in schools and colleges. I believe the future of football is in women football development. Kenya is in the right direction. The perception will end by bringing all football stakeholders to a round table (primary, secondary, colleges, universities, sports ministries, football academies and branches, sub branches, representatives of existing active women football clubs) and form a league and development structure.

QUESTION: How do you plan to revive or rather launch women football?

ANSWER: I plan to discuss with women development committees in branches on their needs and have the report discussed with the National Women Development committee and ratification by the Kenya Football Federation. I’m also planning to source for sponsorship, train women referees, doctors, coaches and team managers as well as introduce public awareness campaign on women football.

QUESTION: What do you think has been ailing women football and how are you planning to handle this?

Rachael Kamweru, chairperson of Women Football Development Committee.

ANSWER: Lack of sponsorship has been the key factor. Others are lack of commitment from previous KFF chiefs who only focused on men football and didn’t use funds from Fifa to benefit the women game.

QUESTION: Would you need goodwill and help in launching or reviving women football? If so what kind of help do you need?

ANSWER: Yes. Financial and material support from the Government, corporate world and women leaders at all levels, the media, non-governmental organisations and voluntary services.

QUESTION: Why do you think Kenya is lagging behind in football and what do you think should be done to remedy the situation?

ANSWER: Because of lack of youth centres to develop and expose talent. We only put up our women national team when there is an international fixture with poor selection and no continuity and motivation for example when Kenya played Nigeria during the 2003 African women championship qualifier.

We are planning to set up youth centres at the constituencies and work with the Government to improve the infrastructure.

QUESTION: Do you think women will be willing to take up the sport, which is perceived to be a masculine?

ANSWER: Yes. Already women have taken up the sport as witnessed in secondary schools. But we need to go further and sensitise girls that football, too, can generate income. We have women clubs like Kamaliza Eaglets, Makolanders, Old is Gold, Dagoretti Sisters, schools like Bishop Gatimu, Bishop Njenga Girls, Buruburu Girls, and national champions Wiyeta Girls.

QUESTION: How is KFF committed and what are the federation’s plans for women football after the elections last year?

ANSWER: KFF put gender into consideration during the elections held on December 20 and that’s how I got elected. The NEC also has four women out of its 12 members

QUESTION: What are your short term plans for women football and long term plans as well?

ANSWER: My short term plan is to immediately set up women leagues and a national team and my long term plan is to set up women football academies, enable our women players to get professional careers and see that the national team becomes among the top three teams in the continent.

QUESTION: How do plan to spread the initiative throughout the country given some communities are not of the idea of girls playing football and how will you get to the most remote parts?

ANSWER: By using the existing KFF structures which has over 6,000 clubs and partnering with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in the administration on constituency women football putting in mind that there must be 10 women football teams in each constituency.

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