Why AFC Leopards' membership surge is more than just numbers

© AFC Leopards

Why AFC Leopards' membership surge is more than just numbers

Festus Chuma 17:32 - 08.06.2024

Reasons AFC Leopards' record membership numbers indicate a promising future, boosting community ties and increasing match attendance.

AFC Leopards' registered members are gearing up for their highly anticipated Annual General Meeting (AGM), set to take place on Sunday 30 June at the Kasarani Indoor Arena.

This gathering marks a significant moment for the club as it reflects on a year of record growth.

With an unprecedented count of 5,482 members for 2024, the club is celebrating its highest membership since its inception in 1964.

This surge in membership is not just a number; it represents a burgeoning fan base, as evidenced by the jump from 54 to 81 registered branches.

Such an increase is indicative of the deep-rooted passion and commitment that fans hold for the club, spanning from local communities to global outreach, including the newly registered Toronto Branch in Canada.

The substantial rise in members correlates directly with a spike in stadium attendance.

AFC Leopards have consistently drawn large crowds throughout the 2023/24 FKF Premier League season, with the return leg of the Mashemeji Derby at Nyayo National Stadium standing out as a particular highlight.

Among the registered branches, the Bunyore Branch leads with 304 members, followed closely by the Vatican branch with 275, and the Westlands branch with 177.

Other branches, including Eastlands, Kayole, and Kawangware Stage 2, have each amassed over 100 members, showcasing widespread support across various demographics.

Franklin Imbenzi, the Chairman of Chairmen, highlighted the importance of membership.

“Membership registration is an important revenue stream to the club and being a member of this great club gives you a strong sense of belonging and personal pride. As a member, it also gives you an opportunity to grow socially as you are able to interact with people from different spheres during club activities," he said in an interview with the club portal.

This year, the club is not only focusing on numbers but also on enhancing member engagement.

Hossea Kisienya, Secretary General of the Chairman of the Chairmen caucus, outlined some key initiatives aimed at improving member welfare and interaction.

“Members should expect a revamped members' welfare through the Ingwe Yamatere Members Welfare, set to be operational by July 15th. We are also introducing more InterBranches football to foster cohesion among the fans, especially on days the senior team is not playing,” said Kisienya.

Membership fees remain accessible, with a new registration costing Ksh1,200 and a renewal fee of Ksh1,000, ensuring that joining the club remains an affordable and appealing option for many.

The record membership numbers and expanding fan base of AFC Leopards are not just indicators of the club’s current health but also signal a promising future.

With a strategic focus on both increasing members and enhancing their experience, AFC Leopards is setting a precedent for how football clubs in the country can foster a sense of community and pride among their supporters.

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