Ligi Ndogo East Africa Cup
The Ligi Ndogo East African Cup, celebrated during the month of August each year, was established by the Ligi Ndogo Soccer Club Fraternity in 2008 as a means of raising awareness of issues affecting football development among children and youth within the East African region. Each year, the Ligi Ndogo management decides upon a theme for the tournament on the basis of issues of concern to young people of East Africa.
The theme for 2022 is ‘Grassroots Football is the Foundation for Development’: Moving East Africa Forward through Football Development’. For this year’s Ligi Ndogo East African Cup 2022, the Ligi Ndogo Soccer Club Management and the East African Cup Steering Committee, with support of the Ligi Soccer fraternity, are co-organizing an event to celebrate the East African young talent. The event will bring together young people from at least 80 teams from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan; Youth focused State and Non-State development organizations, East African Community and other experts to not only be part of the football tournament, but also discuss issues relating to the children of this region and it’s youth.
Why Grassroots Football?
Young people make up a significant share of the region’s number of migrants. Most of them do it in search of livelihoods and better lives. In essence, a good number are sports people who hope from country to country within the region and beyond. While migration can offer valuable opportunities and contribute to the development of communities and society at large, it can also pose risks and lead to unacceptable situations
including discrimination and exploitation. For young people, the decision to migrate is often related to their transition to adulthood and the field is where they feel much at home to experiment, explore and execute whatever they learn in training. However, for some young people, migration can expose them to several risks, including radicalization, lack of access to basic rights, exploitation, unprotected jobs and sporting
opportunities are limited. This is why the basic ingredients and drivers of the Grassroots Football of passing and receiving, shooting and special technique training enhanced during training with their respective academies will equip the young people with the requisite knowhow to showcase what they have been practicing and provide a showroom for the respective academy coaches to see their end product in display. Very little is known about the livelihood opportunities and the risks associated to migration of young people, policies and measures that help them reap the benefits and contribute to development of both countries of origin and of destination, and the mechanisms that exist for them to avoid falling into risky situations. Thus Football remains constant everywhere and the perfect antidote at this crucial development stage and this remains the driver of organizing this tournament.
Why Healthy Living?
With the arrival of corona virus in our time it has posed a great challenge for contact sports like football thus the need to encourage good habits from when the children are small to help them maintain these good habits even when they are older to help them confront such obstacles in future. We advocate for children to hand wash before and after they finish playing, reduce intake of harmful fats, consume less salt and sugar, eat healthy foods and since football is developmentally appropriate to help kids develop motor skills, cognitive skills, coordination, suppleness, mental strength and many more we encourage children to go play football. Hygiene is always the perfect way and should be enhanced at all sessions.
Objectives of the East African Cup 2022 Edition
-To raise awareness of the opportunities and risks associated with youth migration and socialization;
-To share football development knowledge & information from various research and analysis sessions but showcased on the field of play;
-To review good practices on policies and programmes promoting youth development and integration within the East African region.
-To encourage healthy living and eating habits for the well-being of the kids and youths within the East African region
-To establish an All-star East African team as a platform for short and long term football development in the region.
-To encourage respective team coaches to always analyze past performance to help identify gaps for improvement in subsequent tournaments and events.
Main undertakings during the event
The 17th to 18th September 2022 event will shed light on health, youth and development issues, with a footballing model. These areas will include:
1. Actual tournament competition: This will have 100 teams spread across 7 different age categories ranging from under 7 to under 20 years. Both boys and girls teams will be represented and will play at both group and knock out stages. Awards will be in three categories of Main Cup, Plate and Bowl.
2. Break out interlude discussion areas: Guest speakers, institutions and professional bodies will put up booths to deliberate on pertinent issues to the main theme. These sessions will target the key beneficiaries, mainly the playing children, youth and their parents.
3. Knowing East Africa: A city tour of Nairobi will be organized for all visiting teams and hosts. This will be continuous during the entire period and will be managed by Ligi Ndogo with support from the other tournament partners.
4. Post Tournament events: During the East African tournament, further selection of promising players will be conducted. Here, an East African select team of ALL age categories will be established with an aim of developing them further, through post tournament training, exposure to more challenging contexts and team building activities. The climax of this will be selection of Ligi East Africa Allstar team per category for 2022 edition which we believe will give rise to other subsequent development engagements and records for monitoring progress of participants in the future.