In an inspiring endeavor that transcends the boundaries of football, a remarkable initiative called the KINA UNIRINDE Grassroot League has kicked off in the City of Kigali. KINA UNIRINDE means “Play and Protect Yourself”.

This extraordinary league, which commenced on May 20th, 2023, aims not only to cultivate young talent but also to combat alcohol and drug use while promoting children’s mental health.

With over 1,000 enthusiastic children registering for the league, it promises to be a groundbreaking platform for young players to showcase their skills, compete, and safeguard their well-being.

Fostering Healthy Communities

Recognizing the perils associated with alcohol abuse and its enduring consequences for young people, the Umuri Foundation and the City of Kigali have joined forces to organize the “Play and Protect Yourself” league.

By harnessing the power of sports, this initiative seeks to raise awareness and prevent the harmful effects of underage drinking.

As more than 600 children from over 30 teams across four categories—U-10, U-14, U-17, and the Girls U-20—have already enrolled, the league is poised to become a monumental event that transcends the City of Kigali, impacting young lives throughout the country.

Young stars of the U-15 teams, united in their commitment to “Play and Protect Yourself” in the Grassroot League in Kigali. © IMAGES/LEMESSAGERSPORT

Nurturing Talent and Encouraging Participation

The Grassroot League has constructed a platform that empowers young players to not only develop their football skills but also promotes their mental well-being.

By creating an inclusive environment for players of different age groups, the league ensures that every child has an opportunity to participate and compete against their peers.

Additionally, the league’s organizers have introduced a special U-15 Extra league exclusively for girls under 15 years old, encouraging gender equality and empowering young female athletes to showcase their talents.

Young stars of the U-15 teams, united in their commitment to “Play and Protect Yourself” in the Grassroot League in Kigali. © IMAGES/LEMESSAGERSPORT

Safe and Supportive Environment

One of the primary objectives of the “Play and Protect Yourself” league is to provide a safe and supportive environment for young players. By emphasizing the importance of mental health, the league aims to protect children from the potential hazards of alcohol and drug abuse.

In the City of Kigali, more than 30 teams across all four categories have registered, demonstrating the immense enthusiasm and support for this remarkable initiative. Through mentorship, coaching, and community engagement, the Grassroot League aspires to positively impact the lives of countless young people by creating a nurturing space where they can thrive and succeed.

The U-15 teams display their exceptional skills and unwavering spirit in the “Play and Protect Yourself” Grassroot League. © IMAGES/LEMESSAGERSPORT

As the Grassroot League unfolds in the City of Kigali, the echoes of unity, talent, and resilience reverberate through the streets. This groundbreaking initiative combines the love of football with a powerful mission: to fight against alcohol and drug use while championing children’s mental health.

By fostering talent, promoting awareness, and providing a safe and supportive environment, the “Play and Protect Yourself” league will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the lives of the young participants. With every kick of the ball, this league paves the way for a brighter future, where the spirit of sport transcends boundaries and safeguards the well-being of the next generation.

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