By Agnes Amondi,
Society Empowerment Project commonly SEP Ladies from Oyugis will feature in the Kenya Women’s Premier League (KWPL) for the first time after last seasons’ promotional playoff victory against Moving The Goal Posts (MTG United).
They begin life in the top tier against relatively new Kibera Girls Soccer Academy (KGSA)on the opening day, February 22.
But already, the clubs’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Festus Juma is eyeing the title that has thrice gone to Vihiga Queens.
Whilst he acknowledged the latters dominance, he confidently stated that their target is achievable and brushed off the idea of setting an unrealistic target
“I know that Vihiga Queens have carried the gong for the last three years but we will break that dominance”
“The title this season will be heading to Oyugis. That is our goal and it is achievable. It takes the team and the technical bench to work together. And I believe in them. So watch that space,” he continued.
As for their first game of the season, he said the team is ready to host KGSA and is expecting a very complicated outing.
The CEO expressed his delight in getting the leap to the top tier. In two years time, SEP Ladies has leaped from the county league to Division one to the premier league.
Festus Juma explained that it was not easy but it’s a demonstration of their commitment to get to the pinaccle.
“We were fully prepared for what was coming. I talked to the team beforehand. My message was they are not to take anything for granted because every team always has something to offer. We are grateful that they delivered and now we look forward to play in the WPL,”He said.
He also believes that the clubs’ transition to the league will be smooth.
“It’s not how long it will take us to settle. Once the league kicks off, we will be adequately prepared; mentally and physically to fully participate. We are not here to make up the numbers. SEP is here to compete.” A confident Juma observed.
SEP Ladies, like many other clubs in WPL, lacks sponsorship. And as it’s been a recurring theme, the newbies are hoping to repel the situation.
Thus, on further inquiry about whether the club will be able to fully meet the financial demands of the league, the CEO expressed optimism as they hold crowd funding drives to source support from the local Oyugis community.
He hopes this will produce enough monies, enough to take them through the season as they seek to avoid handing walkovers and be in a position to meet players requirements.
At the same time, he spoke of the challenges within the league and pointed an accusing finger to governance structure for not doing enough to support the women’s game.
“Part of the reason why we are in this situation is because of the kind of governance we have. It has turned a blind eye on women’s football and doesn’t think of a way of supporting the game,”
He went on: “On an individual level, we are closely engaging the Oyugis community to crowd fund the club. We are asking for any kind of support; moral, financial, material; in order to avoid missing out on matches and be able to provide players with necessities like health insurance and the like.” opined Juma.
About SEP Ladies
Society Empowerment Project commonly SEP was founded in 2005 by Festus Juma.
His main aim is to use sports in addressing social problems in Oyugis community.