The Fresh Dairy Secondary Schools games have officially started in Mbarara City with a call to end use of ineligible players.
The sports commissioner Canon Duncans Mugumya during the official opening ceremony at Ntare School said they will not betray government efforts of funding sports yet some schools prefer to use mercenary players.
“We disappointed you sir (he told the sports minister), when one school [Royal Giants Mityana] was chosen to play in the Schools African Championships and ended up missing the travel to South Africa because of ineligible players. We are more than ready to weed out this malpractice,” Mugumya said
Harriet Apolot, the chairperson National Organizing Committee stressed the need to clean the games of age cheats.
“These are age-category games and we need to protect the young players by eliminating overaged players,” Apolot said.
To start with, all players are on the online registration portal which has helped weed out unneeded players.
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It is noted that using such players five schools were banned from taking part in this year’s games.Peter Ogwang promised to crack down on schools that are defaulting on the sports curriculum.
“There’s nothing more paying than sports. We should allow students to excel by using their talents,” he said.
He added that emerging issues in sports such as drug abuse must be fought.
“How long must we miss international opportunities by cheating through sport, including corrupting the minds of the young people,” Ogwang said.
qwDairy producer, Fresh Dairy has sponsored the tournament with a Shs240m package for the games that started on Monday at Ntare School in Mbarara.
The five-year pact started in 2019 with Fresh Dairy catering for administrative costs at the games by increasing the brand exposure of the games.
Vincent Omoth, the Fresh Dairy Marketing Manager says he was impressed with the progress the games have made.
“Over the past three editions, Fresh Dairy is pleased to see a progression through better quality of sports being played, but also an increase in the number of students and schools participating.”
Christopher Mugisa, the Chief Executive Officer of USSSA said the games have attracted more than 3,000 students in seven disciplines.
A combined 252 teams competing in basketball, rugby 15s, hockey, table tennis, badminton, tennis and girls football are taking part in the games set to end on May 15. All the finalists will qualify for the East African Secondary School Games set for Huye, Rwanda in August.
Omoth said, “Fresh Dairy’s sponsorship essentially serves to nurture the sporting talent of our youth while highlighting the need for health and nutrition using our products which are great for refreshment and post-workout replenishment. Fresh Dairy believes in developing a complete individual in terms of sports, academia and health.”
BASKETBALL – GIRLS
St Noa 66-28 Jinja SS
Seroma 13-45 Ndejje
Namagunga 22-19 Mary Hill
Kibuli 44-7 Gombe SS
Kyambogo 7-16 Holy Cross
St Maria Gorretti 18-11 Nyakibare
Sacred Heart 9-67 Kitende
Nyakasura 42-9 Kakira
Iganga SS 14-12 Janan
Mvara 25-16 Ssaku
Naalya 34-20 Nabumali
Football – girls
Kawempe 1-0 Sheema
Buhobe 2-0 Bp Maraka
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Panyandoli 6-0 Moroto HS
Kayindu 0-1 Aiden College
Omega 0-0 PEAS Kichwamba
Kangole 0-0 Kashenyi
Amus 3-0 Bugisu HS
Ryakasinga CHE 7-0 Ngora
Shammah 0-0 Jipra
Riness 7-0 Christ School
Mukono Parents 3-1 Gadaffi
Taggy 7-0 Kiyingi Mem
Masaka SS 0-2 Boni Consili
St Noa 4-1 Moyo Star
Basketball – boys
Ndejje 34-51 Buddo
Nabumali 38-55 Ntare
Kitovu 29-28 Butiki
Kabalega SS 24-46 Bethel
St Peter’s 35-34 Amazima
Layibi 45-52 Aga Khan
Mbale 20-58 Elite HS
A win was once again expected from defending champions St Mary’s SS Kitende in girls’ basketball in their second Fresh Dairy Schools games group game against Sacred Heart Mushanga. That is most certainly what they delivered as they completed a very clean performance to beat Sacred Heart 67-9.
Kitende got off the blocks as quickly as possible, leading by 21-2 in the first quarter and in the subsequent two periods, the opponent did not register any basket.
Speaking after the game coach Jude Okudach said: “I am absolutely delighted with the way that we played today. The work rate of the players was absolutely superb and nearly every person got game time.”
Okudach was however sad at the rate the game is growing in other areas saying Kampala and Wakiso teams are competing against themselves.
“It is like we are competing against ourselves as teams from Wakiso and Kampala. The rest are playing catch up at the moment. That is not a good indicator for the growth of the sport at the grassroots,” he said.
The other Wakiso side in action St Noah beat Jinja SS 66-28 while Kampala representatives Kibuli beat Gombe SS 44-7.
Playing with a galaxy of stars, most of whom with national team experience, last year’s finalists Kawempe Muslim had to dig deep to beat well-drilled Ankole zone champions Sheema Girls 1-0 during the game that marked the opening ceremonies.
Rugby was expected to be played as an exhibition game between Kisubi and Namiryango but the state of the Ntare Stadium could not allow the game to be played.
Shakirah Nyinagahirwa scored the only goal in the second half before a cheering crowd.
This was Kawempe’s second win in a row as the top teams continue to rise to the top.
Earlier, Taggy had beaten Kiyingi Memorial 7-0 while Amus College Bukedea overcame local rivals Bugisu High 3-0 in a mid-morning encounter.
Mukono Parents also registered an important win coming from behind to beat Gadaffi Integrated 3-1.
The groups are already serving mouthwatering games. The games to watch tomorrow is a midday clash between Wakiso giants Taggy and St Noah which will be preceded by a key tie between high-flying Ryakasinga CHE against Riness SS.
After serving a thriller against Gadaffi, dark horses Mukono Parents will return today with a highly anticipated game against King of Kings, who will cap the day with their second tie against Gadaffi.