How Everton warmed community hearts during their Kenya tour

Everton website.
The English Premier League side left a coaching legacy when they visited Nairobi for the first time to face Kariobangi Sharks in a pre-season friendly

Ahead of Everton Football Club taking on Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Kariobangi Sharks in the SportPesa Trophy on Sunday 7 July, coaches from Everton in the Community – the club’s official charity - spent five days in Kariobangi delivering programmes and activities for children, men and women.

The charity’s presence in Kenya saw five of its coaches embed themselves in the local community delivering programmes that has been specifically developed and tailored to meet the social and psychological needs of those living in Kariobangi and helped to equip the children and their families with important skills, tools and health messages for the future.

The Blues became the first ever Premier League club to play a match in the East African country when they took on Kariobangi Sharks at the Kasarani Stadium in Narobi, eventually losing Sunday's SportPesa Trophy fixture on penalties after a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes.

Despite the defeat, the club's trip to Kenya was more than just a match and below is how they left a mark after visiting Kariobangi under Everton in the Community.

  1. Everton.

    Delivered coaching courses to young lads

    Through a series of football coaching and multi-sports sessions for the young children of Kariobangi, female only exercise and fitness sessions as well as health and wellbeing sessions for young males, the Everton in the Community coaches worked to leave a lasting legacy in the area and helped teach the participants the skills they need to inspire their community to live more active and healthy lifestyles.

    Tom Davies , Ademola Lookman and Beni Baningime also travelled to the Mathare district of Nairobi to take part in a “pioneering” programme working with vulnerable girls living in the country.

    The 'Let Our Girls Succeed' initiative is funded by the UK government and works with over 70,000 youngsters in the East African country.

  2. Everton.

    Taught Maths and English to the audience

    The charity’s coaches also spent time delivering educational classroom sessions to the local children, using Everton as a tool to teach basic maths and English and took part in a variety of social action projects across the area such as spending time socialising and playing board games with elderly residents at Kariobangi Cheshire Home, meeting children at the ABC School for Orphans and planting trees at Kariobangi North Primary School where they are rebuilding an orchard to help the students learn about agriculture and enterprise skills for selling the produce to local markets.

  3. Everton.

    The presence of Leon Osman and Pienaar

    Everton in the Community’s work in Kariobangi was also supported by former Everton players and club Ambassadors Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar who came along to show their support to the coaches and got involved with one of the coaching sessions for local children.

    The two former Blues also helped distribute boxes of kit to the local community from SportPesa’s ‘Kits For Africa’ campaign in conjunction with Everton Football Club.

  4. Everton.

    Great experience for visiting Everton

    And here is what Everton in the Community Chief Executive Officer Richard Kenyon had to say on the visit: "While our main focus is understandably in North Liverpool we regularly undertake work overseas so the opportunity to make a difference through our recent trip to Kenya was something our team relished.

    "We were keen to use our knowledge to develop a week-long programme of activities for the Kariobangi community which we hope will now provide them with new life skills to help them in their futures.

    “Our team of staff had a great time and we’re sure have made a positive lasting impression on the people we worked with. I’d like to thank everyone in Kariobangi for the extremely warm welcome which was extended to us and we look forward to returning to see the new friends we have made in Kenya soon.”

  5. Everton.

    Staged a huge party to say, thank you!

    To wrap up their stay in Kenya, Everton in the Community held a community celebration event in the heart of Kariobangi where local families took part in a traditional sports day with multi-sports activities, running events, sack races and a tug-of-war.