Have you ever wondered why the United States is the most successful nation in women’s football? This despite the fact that their men’s team has been lagging and even failed. The women’s world cup has been held seven times and the United States has won it three times and has never failed to make the semi-finals. And the Olympic football tournament has been held six times of which the United States has won the gold medal four times.
Why is the US women’s team so dominant in football? It is because of a well known law in the United States called title IX. The law mandates that the amount of money spent by Universities on men’s sports should be equal to the amount spent on women’s sports. This is critical because the American University sports system is the backbone on which their entire sporting excellence is built. Virtually all their sports stars be it in Athletics, Basketball, Football etc have passed through the system.
The law was instituted in 1972. Prior to this law, American Universities basically ignored women’s sports.Today in 2018 however there 1571 colleges in the USA that have soccer scholarships for female footballers. Today there are 38,000 women playing soccer on full scholarships. Because there are so many scholarships available, there are 388,000 young girls playing soccer across various high schools and various youth teams all over the US. Their goal is to become good enough to earn a scholarship at one of the 1571 colleges. This encourages these young girls to work hard throughout their teen years and sharpen their skills.
A similar situation applies in Kenya. Corporate and government teams are the backbone of most sports league’s in Kenya. Yet these government institutions have for the most part ignored women’s sports.
These government institutions have men’s teams like Ulinzi, Bandari, Posta Rangers, Western Stima, Ushuru, KCB, MOSCA, Pipeline, Mahakama etc………… There are no equivalent women’s teams. These government institutions should be forced to also create women’s teams. And if there is no money for both then the mens team should be disbanded and women’s team should be maintained.
Offering young girls a chance at being employed at a place like KPA or KCB will encourage them to work hard on their games. Also it will encourage more young women to pursue football.
The government should ensure that these teams are spread out throughout the country where there is talent to be tapped. For example, Kisumu Posta should be revived but for women. Western Stima should start a girls team in Kakamega. Same for Eldoret Mahakama and so forth.
Men’s Football does not need corporate teams
Some might say it is unfair to men to disband teams like KCB, Ulinzi, Bandari and so forth. In fact the opposite is true. The Kenya Premier League would benefit more from having community teams. In Mombasa for example, when Congo Boys were in the KPL in 2011, they drew much larger crowds and more fervent support than their neighbours Bandari could ever dream of.
The more community teams there is in the KPL, the larger the public interest will be which means attendance will increase and the league will be better able to attract sponsors and broadcast partners.
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