The deal will see the foundation receive Sh200,000 per month to run its academy activities in the vast Western region. This comes barely a month after the foundation held a successful second edition of the Elijah Lidonde Cup at Bukhungu stadium. Kakamega Homeboyz beat AFC Leopards 1-0 to lift the trophy.

Last year, the foundation under the patronage of former Director General at the Immigration Department Alexander Muteshi, held the Elijah Lidonde Championship that was won by Lurambi Youth.

The two months attracted 498 teams starting from the sub-location level before proceeding to location, sub-county, and finally county level.

Having already produced a number of top players led by Marion Musanga and Elizabeth Midewa both to top clubs and national teams, the foundation has partnered with six secondary schools (three boys and three girls) in Kakamega County.

They include Musingu High School, St Peter’s Mumias Boys, and Shanderema Boys, while the girls’ schools are Archbishop Njenga, St Agnes Shibuye and Eregi Girls.

Speaking during the sponsorship launch in Nairobi today, Muteshi thanked the Standard Global Group for coming on board.

“We are very excited by this partnership with the Standard Global Group. For us as a foundation, we noticed that there’s a gap in football particularly in the area of developing and nurturing the youth. We decided to come together with these knowledgeable and skilled legends to try to improve the standards of football in the country. We can assure Standard Global Group that their support is going to have a major impact on the development of football not only in Western but the whole country,” said Muteshi.

Standard Global Group East Africa Ltd Managing Director Vasil Zdravkov was equally pleased with the partnership.

“We are happy to be associated with the Elijah Lidonde Foundation which deals with nurturing young talented players.  We hope to have a long-term partnership with them,” said Zdravkov.

The foundation’s Chairman Washington Muhanji and Technical Co-ordinator Fred Serenge said the partnership will go a long way to uplift the standards of football in the region.

“As a foundation that is inclined towards nurturing and promoting grass root youth football, we appreciate and thank our sponsors for accepting to support our ongoing project that has been identifying, developing, and placement of youthful talents through schools that we have partnered with and through holding talent search football tournaments for both boys and girls U15 and U17 age categories,” said Muhanji.

“With the coming on board of the Standard Global Group, we are immensely delighted with this new partnership that will help propel our activities to higher levels and thus create a meaningful impact in football standards beyond our horizon.”

Serenge added: “We have produced a number of players to the national team as well as the Talanta Hela initiative. For instance, Archbishop Njenga Girls has produced seven players to the national team through the Talanta Hela initiative, while two of them (Marion Musanga and Elizabeth Midewa) were with the Kenya U20 team. All these are products from the Elijah Lidonde U17 championships that we had last year.”

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