The CFK Sprinters: New Uniforms, New Inspiration July 9, 2013 by jamiep
The members of the Carolina for Kibera (CFK) Jump Rope Team, the CFK Sprinters, could barely contain their excitement when they heard from their coach, David, that the much-anticipated uniforms had finally arrived. The team was so happy that they spontaneously began jumping up and down at the good news and begged David to bring a sample to the practice that afternoon. He said no, but promised them that they would be performing with the uniforms very soon.
When they finally saw the 64 new uniforms, everyone agreed that they color, fit, and design was “awesome.” They also commented that the material is durable, easy to wash/dry, and is very comfortable when performing. In short, they’re perfect.
Coaches and players alike are very enthusiastic and excited for the increased professionalism and visual uniformity that this will bring the team. Previously, the team wore mis-matched outfits with various colors and had no logo to distinguish themselves. They are hopeful that the new uniforms will help build their identity as a team during their outreach events and performance both in and outside Kibera.
Only the top 30 jumpers are given the privilege to wear the uniform and perform on behalf of the team. With the new uniforms’ arrival, coaches report that the attendance at practices and competitiveness of auditions has increased, with each jumper vying for a chance to represent their team and wear the new uniforms proudly. The uniforms have improved the level of commitment from individual jumpers and attracted new youth who are interested in joining the team.
Recently, the team has had the fortune of performing at some high-profile events. Milo (a product of Nestle) put on a festival at Nyayo National Stadium (the second biggest in Kenya) for kids to enjoy before returning to school after the holiday break. Attracting more than 20,000 attendees, the CFK Sprinters were honored to be included in a lineup of local artists and performers.
The team also performed at the Copa Coca-Cola under 17 Youth Soccer Launch at City Stadium in Nairobi. The Sprinters’ unique performance stood out from the crowd as many people hadn’t seen such a diverse display of the different ways to use a jump rope. They were an audience favorite, and had nearly the whole stadium on its feet and cheering during their performance.
The long-term plan of the team is to use performances as an income generating activity to sustain the program. Currently, the team receives a small contribution for performances which typically covers the cost of transportation and a simple meal for the jumpers. The department head and program officers have met with several local event managers to learn more about talent management. Following those meetings, we are currently in search of a volunteer with strong marketing skills to assist in developing that aspect of the program. It is our hope that they will be able to train one of the coaches or older jumpers to take on this role in the near future.