By Reuben Olita
ODM Party Leader and former Prime Minister the Rt Hon Raila Odinga has thanked sportsmen and women from Western Region for taking Africa and the world by storm in sports arena.
Raila, who had taken his Azimio La Umoja tour to Western on Friday said the latest victory by Vihiga Queens soccer team CAF women Champions League CECAFA qualifiers to earn the team a ticket for the inaugural continental showpiece in Egypt, is a true manifestation that Western region is indeed a powerhouse in sports.
“Vihiga Queens striker Gentrix Shikangwa, who emerged top scorer, proved that the sky is the limit for her as she takes the fight to the prestigious championships,” he said, pledging to reward the team for making the region and the country proud.
Raila also cited the impressive performance of Kenyan sprinter, Ferdinand Omanyala in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympic Games, running in African record time of 9.86 seconds to become the first Kenyan ever to run sub-10 seconds in 100m event which is synonymous with Americans and Jamaicans.
“This unmatchable performance by Omanyala, who also hails from the region, is a clear indication that Western is endowed with talents which needs to be tapped to enable them upscale it to greater heights,” he said.
The former PM added: “Community club AFC Leopards just like their their arch-rivals Gor Mahia are struggling to find their rightful footing in the Kenya Premier League. We must think how to turn soccer into an industry, identify skilled players and offer training to enable them excel both locally and internationally.”
“The region is the home of soccer with most stars who stamped a mark including Elijah Lidonde, Joe Kadenge, Shem Shimoto, Jonathan Nova, Anyanzwa, Chitechi, Allan Wanga, Josephat Murila, JJ Masiga, Wanyamas and many more,” he said.