- Gabriel Obuya, a visionary leader and Founder of Lions Sports Academy (LSA), understands the profound impact that sports can have on education and personal development.
- The Academy, aware of what the community needs most, has continued to encourage families to support education, which he believes addresses all the social concerns of society.
- Currently, the Academy has 120 learners, with 40 in various high schools, calling on more support to address societal inequalities through talent development.
In the picturesque landscape of Wang’chieng Ward in Rachuonyo North Sub County, Homa Bay County, a beacon of hope radiates brightly as the Lions Sports Academy (LSA), founded in 2018, emerges as a transformative force in the lives of local youth.
This sports academy is not merely a training ground; it’s a dynamic hub that seamlessly integrates talent development and education, reshaping the narratives of countless children.
At the core of the Academy’s philosophy is the commitment to identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each student and designing tailor-made training programs aligned with the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Gabriel Obuya, a visionary leader and Founder of Lions Sports Academy (LSA), understands the profound impact that sports can have on education and personal development.
Obuya articulates the Academy’s mission, stating, “We play a pivotal role in shaping the future of students by promoting teamwork, discipline, and perseverance.”
Beyond training grounds
Beyond being a conduit for sports skills, the Academy instills fundamental values such as fair play, respect, and sportsmanship, molding students into well-rounded individuals prepared for life’s challenges beyond the classroom.
Speaking passionately about the Academy’s contribution to the community, he emphasizes sports’s vital role in imparting invaluable life lessons.
“Through engagement in sports activities, students not only learn essential skills but also internalize qualities crucial for their personal development. These qualities, including fair play and sportsmanship, serve as building blocks for a successful and fulfilling future,” says Obuya.
The Academy has, in the recent past, encouraged youths to engage in meaningful activities, time and again sensitizing local communities on the role of sports in enhancing the place of children in society.
Fred Adoyo, a teacher at Obuya Comprehensive School in Rambira Zone, underscored the Sports Academy’s commitment to realizing the new curriculum’s goals and aspirations.
Adoyo says, “With a Competency-Based Curriculum, education shifted from an outcome-based education to a competency-based one. Education must hence forth focus on exploiting the hidden and silent potential in children and not memorizing knowledge.”
Adoyo adds that the aim of CBC should not be diluted by corrupt education stakeholders who are keen on advancing selfish agenda.
He insists children are not computers that are programmed to give the desired output.
“Parents must be sensitized and teachers need to live the spirit of the new curriculum.
Our learners are not agents of command, neither are they robots to be manipulated. These learners cannot be operated by a mouse or a remote.
They are human beings with varied potential, and it is time all stakeholders in the education sector respected that. It is this understanding that informs my support for Lions Sports Academy,” he states.
Obuya, in an interview with Scholar Media Africa, acknowledged the challenges in ensuring a smooth transition for students to secondary schools, expressing immense gratitude to everyone involved in making the Academy possible.
“The academy’s commitment goes beyond sports, as it seeks to combine the passion for football with quality education, empowering students with the skills and knowledge necessary for success both on and off the field,” he says.
The Academy, aware of what the community needs most, has continued to encourage families to support education, which he believes addresses all the social concerns of society.
Through education, Obuya believes, families are transformed and real change is visible.
Chrispine Odhiambo, a teacher at Obuya Comprehensive School and a coach at the Academy, says the community stands to benefit through the Academy’s initiatives and programs, since the new curriculum is dependent on talent and skill.
“Through our dedicated coaches, mentors, and support from the community, we have been able to provide our students with the guidance and opportunities they need to excel,” says Odhiambo.
He adds that the Academy’s holistic approach, emphasizing both athletic abilities and academic potential, lays the foundation for a brighter future for its students.
A testament to the transformative impact of Lions Sports Academy is the success story of Kevin Ouma.
Despite facing significant disruptions in his education, Kevin defied the odds and achieved a remarkable grade of B- (minus) at Nyabondo High School.
The Academy recognized Ouma’s potential and stepped in to support him by clearing his fee balance that had stood on his way to academic excellence.
Obuya highlights Kevin’s success as a shining example of the untapped potential within every child, regardless of their circumstances.
It serves as a powerful reminder that with determination, resilience, and community support, anything is possible.
He expresses the Academy’s unwavering commitment to tirelessly work towards providing similar opportunities for young individuals to excel in both academics and sports.
The Lions Sports Academy arrives at a crucial juncture when local youth are vulnerable to engaging in unsustainable economic activities such as sand harvesting, fishing, and the boda boda industry.
The Academy’s presence aims to counteract this trend by providing a platform for talent development and education, ensuring that youths remain on the path of academic excellence.
The Academy, in efforts to scale up its talent search, has identified two schools as training grounds.
The Academy, through its founder, understands the move would open up its services to more people since some children may find it difficult to attend training at the Academy’s stadium.
“Identifying Obuya and Mariwa Comprehensive Schools as training centers, the Academy extends its reach to nurture discipline and expose the community to a range of opportunities beyond their immediate surroundings.
This strategic approach is designed to create an environment that fosters holistic development, ensuring that children can thrive and reach their full potential,” noted Obuya.
Annually, LSA hosts the Grass to Grace Tournament, drawing teams from across western Kenya.
This tournament provides opportunities for participants, with some joining bigger schools and clubs.
Javan Omondi, for instance, joined Ulinzi Stars, and Felix Odhiambo from Obuya Comprehensive School joined Sawagongo High School after last year’s tournament.
Joanes Ouma, a beneficiary of Lions Sports Academy and Best Player in the Grass to Grace Tournament, has been to Turkey to explore and advance talent.
Some of the teams that participated in last year’s Grass to Grace Tournament included Bayern Academy (Kisumu), Kokwanyo Youth Academy (Homa Bay), Lions Sports Academy (Homa Bay), Miranga (Homa Bay), Football Without Borders, and Mainuga FC (Homa Bay) among others.
Through the tournament organized by LSA last year, Javan Omondi was able to join Ulinzi Stars, and Felix Odhiambo from Obuya Comprehensive School joined Sawagongo High School.
From its commitment to empowering youth through sports and education, the Academy not only shapes the lives of individual students but also contributes to the community’s overall development.
With a focus on values, discipline, and community support, the Academy is creating a brighter future for the youth, proving that the power of sports and education combined can truly make a lasting impact.
The community, according to Obuya, stands to gain in the end game as children grow up to be responsible and respectable members of the community.
He calls out to families and communities to encourage the enhancement of life skills for a more fulfilling society.
Obuya envisions a community benefiting as children grow into responsible and respectable members.
With eight pupils joining Form 1 in prestigious secondary schools, the Academy’s emerging efforts may turn around the fortunes of a society immersed in a range of opportunities with a forward-looking curriculum.
“Through its commitment to empowering youth through sports and education, LSA is not only shaping individual lives but contributing to the overall development of the community.
With a focus on values, discipline, and community support, the Academy is creating a brighter future for the youth, proving that the power of sports and education combined can make a lasting impact,” notes Obuya.
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Currently, the Academy has 120 learners, with 40 in various high schools, calling on more support to address societal inequalities through talent development.