It all started in 2003 with 25 boys who were interested in football and had by 2005 had increased to 40. These boys were mostly street children or from underpriviledged families and those who did not finish education. These were the first of 14 teams.
With the help of supporters in England providing uniforms and kit... (thank you!), and Andrew’s RUSH Football Committee with Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Public Relations Officer who is trying to market them, the football team have come a long way.
They started playing in the local District League, moved to Division 2 League then to the Provincial League and the Division 2 League. Now in 2012 the boys are playing in the Division 1 League and it is hoped that next year they will be playing Premier League. This will enable the boys to transfer to good clubs and stand by themselves and help their families.
There was a problem. There were two bodies running football in Kenya and it was not known which was genuine to progress in. In 2009 they were playing under the Kenya Football Federation instead of under Football Kenya Ltd. In 2010 after qualifying to play Premier League they realised that K.F.F. was not recognised by F.I.F.A. The government were alerted to the problem and they were forced to have one body running football in Kenya. Rush is now playing Division 1 League and is looking forward to playing Premier League next year. This will make an incredible difference as then Supasport from South Africa will help finance accomodation, transport etc for RUSH as they support Premier Clubs in this way.
In the past good players have been scouted by good secondary schools and given free education. Now if you are in school and talented in football, drama, netball volleyball etc UNICEF have come in and are sponsoring these youngsters. This then follows the RUSH idea of enabling people to use their talents and then support their families and this is happening because of football skills. Whilst Andrew was ill in England some of the RUSH players went to big clubs playing Premier League such as Western Steamer, AFC Leopard, Thika United, Sonny Sugar.....and these without transfer fees as it was before contracts were set up. Having previously lost good players, now all players are contracted to RUSH Football Club. This will mean that transfer money will come to RUSH Football Club which will become self sufficient and hopefully begin to feed back finance into RUSH from where the players made their start.
Andrew returned to Kenya fit and well at the end of 2010 and in December 2011 was voted in as Chairman of Western Kenya Football in a landslide vote. Through his work with RUSH Football Team it must have been felt that he was a good leader. He now is responsible for the running of 600 clubs in Western Province which contains four Counties. He has developed committees at Provincial level to delegate responsibilities. He meets with these committees at regular intervals to ensure stable management and they now work under Football Kenya Federation (F.K.F.) These committees are for Finance, League and Competition, Youth, Ethic and Fair Play, Legal, Technical Training, Women, Stadium Management and Security, Media and Medical. You can access Rush Football Club via the link www.futaa.com
The Challenges for the future:
The desire of Andrew and Lucy Amukowa is always to alleviate poverty through education and developing the talents you have. Football is just a small corner of the RUSH Project in Kakamega, Kenya but is surely fulfilling this dream for some.
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