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WASA festival kicked off with 104 teams | Coastweek
Coastweek -- This year, Watoto Africa Soccer Awards (WASA) festival kicked off with 104 teams drawn from 18 schools at the Oshwal Academy Mombasa compound. WASA festival also welcomed debutant teams from Sheikh Khalifa high school, SOS School and Shree Swaminarayan academy.
Swaminarayan Academy Becomes First Debutant
Team to Win Any Category in the 9th WASA Edition

Coastweek -- Oshwal Academy Mombasa saw an unprecedented number of people flock to the compound.

They were all here to take part in the Watoto Africa Soccer Awards (WASA), the annual festival is in its 9th edition since it started in Mombasa and Uganda.

This year, the festival kicked off the schools’ tournament with 104 teams drawn from 18 schools.

The participating WASA attracted teams from both Mombasa and Kilifi County.

The first day saw 5 tournaments take place.

These were; the under 6, under 7, under 9 girls, under 9 boys and under 11 girl’s tournaments.

WASA festival also welcomed debutant teams from Sheikh Khalifa high school, SOS School and Shree Swaminarayan academy.

While flagging of the tournaments, the founder and CEO of WASA Mariam Mpaata expressed heartfelt appreciation to all the participants and stakeholders.

Additionally, she called for more support in football initiatives like WASA which are meant to keep youth positively engaged.

This year’s theme was to create a space where Fun, Talent, Passion and Diversity can be exercised on one pitch.

Despite interference by rains, the first weekend saw Kivukoni School won the under 6 mixed gender tournament beating hosts Oshwal 2-0 in a hotly contested final.

There were also triumphs for Loreto Convent Primary who scooped the under 11 girls crown after edging out Light academy.

Hosts Oshwal Academy bounced back from losing the under 6 title to win the under 9 girls category while Jaffery Academy reigned supreme in the under 7 category.

The second weekend also saw plenty of action as Greenwood Groove Academy stomped to the under 17 girls’ final squaring out with juggernauts Oshwal Academy.

However, the finals game played during the week, saw an Oshwal come back to win 3- 1 on penalties.

During the under 15 boys tournaments, there was jubilation from Shree Swaminarayan as they overcame a stubborn Aga Khan High school side in post-match penalties to win the title.

In winning the under 15 category, Shree became the first debutant team to win any category in the 9th WASA edition.

The team’s success was pegged so much on star player Imran who put in virtuoso performances in virtually all the games the team played including a 5-0 demolition of Mombasa Academy.

He finished the tournament with 6 goals effectively handing his teammates’ much-needed silverware.

Also prevailing on the second weekend was Jaffery academy who beat Oshwal on penalties to win the under 15 girls’ tournament.

Islanders MM Shah made their participation count by winning the under 13 girls tournament after trouncing Aga Khan Primary 2-1.

The first two weekends of WASA 2018 drew mixed reactions from the coaches and fans alike.

Mr Tom Amumi of Oshwal Academy while lauding his under 9 girls team for winning the category, bemoaned sloppiness that cost his school more triumphs in other age groups that they have traditionally excelled.

Mr. Ogaro Dennis of Kivukoni School was over the moon with his flying under 6 team and similar feelings were visible in Mr. Yassir of Shree who overcame astronomical odds to win the under 15 boys category on the first attempt.

The WASA Schools’ tournaments is however is yet to be concluded as under 17 boys tournament is yet to be played while under 11 girls, under 9 boys and 13 boys  are yet to play their final matches to determine the winners.

WASA Community tournaments on the other hand begin right after Ramadan with community teams taking part.

This year WASA team registrations went up almost by half.

The total teams registered by schools this year went from 80 to 120 teams while the community teams are likely to hit another 100.

WASA’s vision is to involve as many children as possible and to use the platform to spearhead diversity.

After a total of 18 tournaments, proudly making WASA East Africa’s Biggest Youth Football Festival, the deserving winners will be recognized during the prestigious WASA Gala set to take place on 30th June at Oshwal Academy.


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