5 years of grit
Being a university football team captain is more than just leading a team on the field. It requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for the sport. We talk to Elvis, a Bachelors of Business in Information Technology student and Strathmore University’s football team captain about his experiences and the responsibilities that come with the role, which he has held for five years.
“I am a utility player; I could play anywhere on the pitch because of my understanding of the game. However, the only position I have played professionally is as a goalkeeper for the national Kenyan team,” he says.
He warmly smiles as he takes a moment to reminisce about how his journey started and his love for football.
“My inspiration comes from my father who was a professional footballer, and the need to provide a better life for my family. I cannot clearly remember the year I started playing football, but I do remember getting a football as a birthday gift from my dad as a child, which propelled me to start playing football. My ambition has always been to play professionally in the top leagues. We have seen and have an idea of how football can pay, I would really want a taste of that.
Through football, I managed to get a sports scholarship at Strathmore University and I’ve been able to travel to different East African countries. When you travel, you get to meet different people who would later become more than friends but ‘family.’
Who is Elvis beyond the field?
“I have a strong personality and I’m very outspoken, which could easily be mistaken for being rude. I would also like to think that I am a funny guy and always tend to put other people’s needs before mine.”
Elvis explains his experience as a football player. “It has not been easy… sports come with a lot of challenges”. This means being able to balance their academic responsibilities with athletic obligation. “Discipline is essential in the field, and I maintain this even in class. Performing well in both requires resilience, hard work, dedication, a strong mentality, and luck.” There are more than 275 million footballers in the world and only 1 -2% make it to play professionally so you must be special to be in that 1%.” However, he has been able to handle the pressure that comes with leading a team and be able to make critical decisions in high-pressure situations.
He expresses his frustration being a Kenyan footballer. He believes that football deserves more attention and support through offering a wide range of opportunities to the players, “We must invest in our own. There are a lot of talented athletes out there but they lack the platform to showcase their abilities. We should be able to help others without ulterior motives; only then will we prosper as a country.”
The rewards of captaining are many, including the opportunity to inspire and lead, the chance to develop valuable leadership skills, and the satisfaction that comes with making a positive impact on the lives of others.
This article was written by Louise Akinyi, a third year Communications student.
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