St. Arnold Janssen Cup – Simanjiro

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On 16 November 2019, the St. Arnold Cup, Simanjiro kicked off. The football tournament brings together teams from five villages in Simanjiro, that is Emboret, Loiborsoit, Lenaitunyo, Nyorit and Sukro. The climax of the tournament will be the Finals on Christmas Day.

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Simanjiro is unique in many ways. This is not because it is predominantly a Maasai community but that notwithstanding, it is also hidden from the rest of the world. Here there is no radio signal and majority of the people cannot afford to own a TV. There is also very poor internet signal in very few spots and none in the majority of the vast district. Hardly have we seen any journalists in this area. Many important event just pass by without anyone out there knowing they ever took place. This makes it difficult for the young people to interact with the outside world and display and sell their talent.

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When I arrived here, I noticed many youth playing football in almost all the villages that our parish serves. By the way, our parish covers a radius of 100 Kilometres and attend to 25 villages pastorally. I saw a lot of talent in them. Being a communicator myself, I understand very well the impact that positive publication of talents can do to change the lives of the young people. This is how the idea of ST. ARNOLD CUP was born.

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With the donation of some jerseys, some footballs and trophies from our long time sister parish from Athenry in Ireland, we were able to kick off the tournament. We still need more jerseys and footballs so that we can expand and accommodate other villages.

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It is however not just football but also we are aiming at engaging the young people so that they do not indulge into drugs and criminal activities. For example, during the inaugural game, many young people who would have been in the drinking dens at that time came to cheer on their teams until late in the evening. It means that many did not drink or take drugs that day. If we multiply these events, then those who are peddling alcohol will go out business. We are also planning to start soon with the volleyball for boy and girls.

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We would like to congratulate the organizers especially Mr. Kimai the couch of the Emboret team who has been mobilizing the teams from other villages.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD

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