Lion Guardians Football and Awards!
We told you last week of some of the events of the first ever Lion Guardian Games. Now we will tell you about the other events, which included football, a game that was new to many of the Guardians, especially as the majority of them have never been to school. Excitement and questions about how this game is played, were upmost in their minds!
Therefore, the first session on the field was used to brief them on a few basic football rules. Each Group Ranch selected their best eleven to play each other to produce the two finalists. After several handballs, off-sides, missed kicks and falls, Eselenkei Group Ranch and Olgulului Group Ranch went through to the final. Here Eric and Kamunu battle it out!
The final was thrilling! Olgulului got the first goal after a fine cross from Mingati, who was a revelation at the wings. This goal was a wake-up call for Eselenkei who were a bit sluggish at the back! After a good combination between Lopono, Melita and Kutata who won practically every ball on the mid-field, Eric scored a gem of a goal! The two teams were still tied 1-1 at the end of time but after penalties, Eselenkei Group Ranch won 3-1 to be crowned the champions to the joy of a cheering crowd of Lion Guardians!
The atmosphere that evening back at camp was one of celebration as the morans sung song after song with Kamunu, Lekundu and Mingati as well as Olubi the best soloists. Jumping, a Maasai cultural specialty and a good contest for morans, captivated the onlookers, who had gathered at camp, drawn by the sounds of the best traditional singers in the area. In the evening, the Guardians enjoyed a sumptuous feast of expertly roasted goat meat and a well cooked soup of boiled perfect roots from the nearby hills.
Another part of the Games was the Award ceremony, where all Guardians were issued with certificates to congratulate them on their hard work, despite difficult challenges, and to give prizes to the winners of the different events. Also, four Lion Guardians were awarded with the ultimate prizes. Mokoi from Mbirikani was chosen for his honesty as well as consistently accurate reports to win the most reliable Lion Guardian award. Mingati was selected as the one who brought the biggest impact to the project. Kapande, also from Mbirikani and Kamunu from Eselenkei won the most improved Lion Guardian award. They were selected based on their great improvement, especially on their writing skills given their humble backgrounds having never been to school. Here is Kamunu receiving his award from Lion Guardians Director Leela Hazzah.
Each of these Lion Guardians got a pair of binoculars to help them continue with their good work, which will come in handy during their daily duties. Everyone had a wonderful celebration of the good hard work that will continue into the future, and we would again like to thank all of you who donated to the us to support the Lion Guardian Games.
Ashe oleng from all the Lion Guardians!
I am so proud of all these men! Congratulations for all of your efforts at the Games. Please extend to Kamunu my best wishes for receiving one of the most improved Lion Guardian awards. I am very happy to sponsor Kamunu and it gives me great joy , that he is helping towards the conservation of Lions and other creatures on Eselenkei ranch.
It would be wonderful to see someone sponsor Kapande, who has waited such a long time for a sponsor and previoiusly had such poor health.
Best wishes to all from Australia.