Within the scope of its projects and measures for the environment and climate protection, VfB Stuttgart has been working for a number of years with NABU, a German organisation for the protection of nature. As part of this cooperation, a VfB delegation travelled to Kenya in April, and was involved in joint activities in the East African nation that this year included sports events, a variety of workshops and climate protection projects.
During the visit to Kenya, the VfB delegation organised various training sessions in conjunction with NABU in a number of locations around Lake Ol’ Bolossat in Nyandarua County. These included a three-day training camp for a total of 13 school teams and clubs on the grounds of the Baari Primary School, not far from Lake Ol’ Bolossat, with passing and positioning, dribbling and shooting on the agenda. At the same time, 50 children planted 200 native trees on the school grounds. The significance of the project was explained in detail to the children by Milkah Wanjiru, a member of the Nyandarua area council, and Paul Wambugu, who is supervisor of the Kenya Wildlife Service Nyandarua.
At the beginning of the trip, the VfB Stuttgart delegation, along with NABU and GIZ (the German Association for International Cooperation), had met with the Governor of County Nyandarua, Moses N. Badilisha Kiarie, and Minister for Sport Cate Gitau, to discuss the preservation of the crane population as well as the region around Lake Ol’ Bolossat to the north of the capital Nairobi.
The visit was also the opportunity to launch a cooperation between the County and VfB and its partners, who used sport to help create awareness among the children and youngsters of the threat to Lake Ol’ Bolossat. Preserving the lake and its biodiversity has been a real priority for VfB ever since the club first visited Kenya.
Minister Gitau announced the intention of increasing professionalism in sport, with a new football pitch to be maintained by the County and the surrounding population, with VfB and its partners committing their support.
Another project targeting awareness among children and youngsters in the region during the VfB visit was the “Sports for Conservation Cup” event. With the support of NABU and CCV (Crane Conservation Volunteers), VfB Stuttgart organised a football tournament where a total of 10 men’s, women’s and youth teams fought it out for victory, with the winners all getting VfB jerseys.
Also in conjunction with NABU was a visit to two orphanages in the region, with donations in the form of food, hygiene articles, toys and jerseys handed over to 100 girls and boys. Again, this also included various motor skills exercises and football matches for the youngsters, while the CCV explained the environmental protection aspect of Lake Ol’ Bolossat and its bird population. The VfB members discussed the programme with those in charge of the establishments as well as the development of the facilities and the stories of the various children in their care.
The visit to the Nyandarua region also saw Micha Gühring and Manuel Bierig from the VfB football school give an introduction to the subject of brain kinetics to 20 coaches from Nyandarua County, as well as information and statistics on the Bundesliga, VfB and its youth academy, followed by a presentation on the club’s methods and philosophy.
“Activities of this kind are part of our internationalisation strategy,” said executive board member and chief marketing and sales officer Rouven Kasper of VfB’s visit to Kenya. “VfB is one of the first clubs that is promoting, building and developing football in Africa with a holistic approach. We’re grateful that in NABU, we have a strong partner who makes projects like these possible. Other partners and businesses who are looking to approach similar topics with us would be more than welcome to come on board.”