‘People don’t know us’: Wanyama and Kenya out to impress

first_imgVictor Wanyama at Kenya AFCON training camp. PHOTO via @VictorWanyamaCairo, Egypt | AFP | Kenya’s unimpressive record at the Africa Cup of Nations reads just one win in 14 matches, but Victor Wanyama and co. are eager to make a splash as they return to the tournament after a 15-year absence.The Harambee Stars have never progressed beyond the first round of the continent’s flagship event in five attempts, and will be up against it in a group that pits them alongside a fancied Senegal and talented Algeria.As the lone representative from one of Europe’s top leagues, Wanyama will shoulder the bulk of responsibility as captain of a youthful Kenyan squad that embarked on a three-week boot camp in France to shed distractions at home in preparation for their Egyptian adventure.The tenacious midfielder, who turns 28 next week, is looking forward to the occasion after ending the season on a bitter note following Tottenham’s Champions League final defeat by Liverpool, a match he watched from the bench despite starting both legs of the semi-finals.“It is a very big disappointment not winning the final, but we have to move on,” Wanyama told AFP during Kenya’s training camp in Marcoussis, France’s national rugby training facility. “It can happen. We cannot stay on that. We have to move on and focus on other things.“For me it is a relief to get back and have something to focus on, to forget about the final. With the national team, it is something that we have to focus on. We have a very big tournament ahead of us.”Kenya’s last trip to the tournament, in 2004, coincided with their only win to date — a consolation 3-0 victory over Burkina Faso in a group stage exit.Their passage to Egypt for this edition was ignited by a surprise victory on home soil over Ghana, one of the continent’s top performers. – Lifelong dream –“It has always been my dream. I think all the players dream to get to the Afcon tournament. It is a big tournament. Everyone will be watching. We are happy to get in this stage and hopefully we can be doing this, qualifying every time,” said Wanyama.“That has been our target first to get to Afcon. Now we have achieved our dream. We need to showcase what we can do as well, to go out there and to show what Kenya is all about as well, fight together and try to get results.“People don’t know us. We have improved for a very long time. We have good players who have been together for so long. We know each other for long, it won’t be easy for anyone to play against us.”Wanyama insisted he doesn’t draw overly on his experiences with Tottenham in Europe, but admitted he tries to encourage a close bond between those in the national team.“I don’t speak about it because it is a different tournament,” he said. “The only thing I can use for them, I say like Tottenham would go there because of the team spirit we had, the fighting spirit we had, the togetherness we had, that’s the only thing I try to emulate from my team at Tottenham.“I said to them every time we need to be together, we need to fight together and for each other, we need to work as a family, and the results can come. We’ll never know where we can reach. With that, I know we can even go all the way.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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$11.4M project targets Sophia, East La Penitence students

first_imgFifty young people in the East La Penitence and Sophia communities are to benefit from an $11.4 million (US$57,000) USAID-funded project that would see them receiving after-school tuition in various subject areas.Awarded to School of the Nations, the project seeks to equip students with the skills and tools necessary to seek gainful employment, as opposed to the alternatives of crime and violence.Head of School of the Nations, Dr Brian O’Toole, speaking late last week, noted that for the next six months, the private institution will run the after-school classes in Sophia for 25 youths aged 10-16, and for another 25 from East La Penitence. The classes will be held from Monday to Friday at the Nations premises on New Market Street and at the Brickdam Secondary School on Brickdam, Georgetown.“The idea of that project is to look at some high-risk areas which, according to USAID, are high-crime areas, and try to see if we can offer the kids some path out of potential dangerous occupations. So we’re working on art, music, making videos, teaching the use of the computer, (and) also on vocational skills. We have a big entrepreneurial project that we are doing with them,” Dr O’ Toole detailed.Coordinator of the after-school programme in East La Penitence, Louisa Macey, has said that literacy and numeracy are among the key areas on which much focus will be placed. She explained that some of the sixth formers at Nations have been trained in empowerment programmes, and will be working with the youths to this end.Meanwhile, Assistant Programme Manager Othneil Lewis told Guyana Times that he expects to see transformed young people at the end of the programme.“They’re in a safe space, they have something constructive to do all the time, and my hope is to not only see them transformed as persons, but in their academics as well,” Lewis indicated on Tuesday last.A delegation from the Nancy Campbell Academy in Stratford, Ontario, Canada is also supporting the initiative, especially in the field of music.last_img read more

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