Chuka University Scorpions from Tharaka Nithi are the 2023 Chapa Dimba Eastern Region champions.
The Safaricom Eastern Region finals were held last Sunday at Kinoru Stadium at Syomunyu Secondary School from Kitui where Scorpions were crowned the new kings of football.
In a fiercely contested final, the Scorpions upset the Embu County Predators 4-2 via penalty shootouts, and they went on to win the Eastern Region championship.
Joseph John’s incredible goal gave the Scorpions the lead in the ninth minute, and Josphat Kimanzi’s equalizer in the fifty-second minute forced penalty shootouts.
“We are thrilled to emerge as the winners of the Chapa Dimba Eastern regional finals. This is our first time participating in the Chapa Dimba tournament, and winning it is something we take great pride in. The game was challenging; we did not anticipate going to penalties, but once again, we performed well in the penalty shootout, having also qualified in yesterday’s semifinals through penalties,” said Sean Opwora, head coach Chuka University Scorpions.
In the ladies final, Syomunyu Secondary School won the regional championship by stunning Chuka University Starlets 1-0 in a thrilling match. The Kitui team would go on to win when Carol Wakesho scored the game’s lone goal in the 36th minute.
Chuka Starlets’ attempts to tie the score were unsuccessful as two of Weddy Ndereba’s shots struck the crossbar. It’s interesting to note that Chuka Starlets are making it to the finals twice but have lost both times.
After winning KES. 250,000 apiece, the Scorpions and Syomunyu Sec will compete in the National finals early in the following year, representing the Eastern region.
Chuka University Starlets and Predators, the runner-ups, also received KES 150,000 apiece. KES 30,000 was awarded to the Best Goalkeeper, Top Scorer (boys and girls), and Most Valuable Player (MVP).
The winning team’s members each received a Neon Ultra phone in addition to the grand prize, while the runners-up received Neon Smarter phones.
They join Western’s Ebwali FC and Brenda Girls, Obunga FC and Plateau Queens—also referred to as Nyakach Girls—and the Rift Valley’s PASC Langa and Wiyeta Girls, who have already earned a spot in the national finals for the following year.
In addition to training 250 coaches, the competition seeks to give scouts and coaches a structured way to find fresh talent and create feeder systems for Kenyan football leagues all over the nation. The competition is aimed at football players in the 16–20 age range.
After finishing the Eastern Region, Safaricom Chapa Dimba moves on to the Coast Region in January 2024.