The Club of Leopards Active and Wise Supporters, CLAWS, Trust has planned to hold this year’s annual Ingwe Fan Fest on the 16th of June 2013 at Nairobi’s Railway Club grounds. The event will largely take last year’s format with the introduction of two new games. This year, corporate partners will also be invited to exhibit or present their products and or services to the fans.
While information is still scanty on the logistics of the day, we go back in time and remind ourselves how last year’s event was;
On 10th of June 2012, Francis Lukoye traveled over two hours by car to join over 1,000 fellow Leopards fans at Nairobi’s Railway club grounds for the “Ingwe Fan Fest” organized by CLAWS TRUST.
Francis said he was drawn to the Fan Fest to have fun and bond with other Ingwe fans. He also wanted an up close interaction with the Leopards Super Stars. He says he enjoyed many of the activities held to entertain the over 1,000 AFC Leopards Faithful that attended the event.
“I had heard so much about CLAWS Trust. When I heard they had organized a fan fest, I thought it would be a good opportunity to find out more about the Trust. I also wanted to meet and interact with our team’s superstars. I wanted to get some of my favorite players’ autographs. I wanted to interact with my fellow fans and put a face to the names of people most of whom I had only read about on social media.” Says the Nakuru resident. “On match days it’s a two hour affair so an entire day event would give me chance to achieve all these” He says.
Upon arrival at the Nairobi’s Railway Club grounds, Francis registered for the egg race competition as an independent participant before finding a chair at the stands from where he would follow the other proceedings.
The opportunity to get autographs from the team’s players made the Players’ reserved spot one of the fan Fest’s most frequented areas. A line stretched around the stands for much of the day.
Ingwe Fan Fest, held at the railway Club grounds for the very first time in 2012 saw a massive increase in attendance and participation compared to the 2011 version that was held at kawangware’s Kabiro grounds. The 2012 version also had increased number of branches participating, a total 12 up from 4 that participated in the 2011 version.
Fans were treated to a true “gameday” experience with the 7 aside inter-branch tournament, the egg race, the sack race and the tag of war competitions. There were also merchandise both official and non official for sale at the venue.
“I was really looking forward to some action by our players, but the best thing so far has been the drama on the tracks of the sack race. My kids are, as you can see, enjoying their ice crème and the bouncy castle” Said Steve Isiche, a member of Amani Woodley branch, in an interview during the event.
Ingwe Fan Fest featured fun for the whole family as Cyrus Murunga of Nairobi West brought his son to participate in the kids football clinics. The clinics gave young fans the rare opportunity to take part in football drills courtesy of the club coaches.
“We are Leopards fans and we wanted to come out not only to see the players but also take part in the different events,” Felix said. “The weather has actually been very nice. My nine-year-old daughter Natalie got to go out on the field and do the football drills. That was the best part.” He added.
Artist and CLAWS Trust good will Ambassador, Sinpare Kisanya, and his Crew set the mood on the entertainment stage to wow spectators as the event progressed.
With increased attendance, great weather and fun for the whole family allowing Ingwe Fan Fest 2012 to be a wild success, the team signed autographs. The autograph session gave fans coveted souvenirs.
The event ended with best performers being awarded courtesy of sponsors, Mumias Sugar Company. Thika Super highway’s Zimmerman branch were the winners in the 7 aside football tournament while Kawangware branch took home the overall best branch prize.
With so many activities to enjoy at 2012 Ingwe Fan Fest, many fans left the railway club grounds on Sunday evening asking themselves, “Who’s got it better than us?”
Do not miss this year’s Ingwe Fan Fest slated for the 16th of June 2013 at the railway club grounds.