Sport in UgandaThe aim of this project is to inform the children in the UK about the sporting activities the children in Uganda take part in. Also it is to appreciate the impact the charity is having on introducing sports into the schools we support.

Sport is universal, beneficial and educational. It brings people together and bridges cultures. It provides opportunities for people to enjoy themselves and to express them selves. It allows team building and improves communication skills.

Sport in Africa

The world cup of 2010 was held in South Africa. It provided a world stage for sportsmen and sportswomen to take part and express their talent whilst also giving opportunity for South Africa to show their potential as a country. As it was within a developing country, this brought economic benefits and enhanced the profile of African people. People of all ages got involved in parties, festivals and events across Africa. Schools were able to work on Geography as children wanted to learn about the countries that were coming to their country to take part in the biggest sporting event in the world. It brought all different cultures together allowing each country to learn from another.

The Ugandan people love sport and the most popular sport in Africa is football. All the children ask about Manchester United. The other sports played in Uganda are cricket, netball, athletics, rugby, tennis, swimming and boxing. There are now many famous sportsmen and women that originates from Uganda which has increased the profile of the country.

Sport in Uganda

Football teamWhen the children in Uganda play sport, they are very enthusiastic and enjoy learning new skills and working in a team and generally love being coached by an elder person that they can learn from. They look upon the coach as a major role model and that inspires them to listen, learn and work harder during the coaching session. Sport gives the children an opportunity to have fun in familiar surroundings and allows children to chat, laugh and compete against each other in a friendly environment. Sport brings children together in their villages and communities and gives them a chance to forget about other problems in their lives.

Opportunities for children in Uganda

For many children in Uganda taking part in sport is difficult because they do not have the correct equipment or they cannot be spared from the family chores. Also, the schools do not have the land for sport such as football and this means the children play sport in their neighbourhoods with minimal resources.

At one of the schools that the charity has built, we have a dedicated member called Matthew Houghton, who is involved in Sport for Africa. Matthew has visited St. Zoe's on a number of occasions and as he writes, "St Zoe's now have a football, netball, basketball, badminton and athletics equipment. I was able to coach them athletics on the last trip. This was really enjoyable as the pupils are so eager to learn and to try new things. They definitely, have some budding sprinters at the school. The majority of the children took part in the sessions wearing flip flops type sandals or barefoot. There are few numbers of pupils that have trainers or football boots. On our last trip we took some boots for the football team. As some of the boots were too small for the boys they were passed on to the girl's football team which made them feel very special".

Is there a difference between the sports the boys and girls take part in?
A game of football in Uganda

"The girls at the school had never taken part in any sport before the charity's involvement at the school. Now St. Zoe's have a sports school centre of excellence. Girls play a major part in the development of the centre. They play netball, football and basketball on a regular basis and compete against other local schools".

The inspiring story of the importance of sport

Josephine aged 7 years was excellent at running but she had no shoes fit for the purpose. Her aim in life was to excel and she got up every day and ran until her feet were sore. Josephine now has a pair of running shoes and she is busy practicing her sport and we are sure that in time she will be an excellent sportsperson.

Uganda Schools and sport

Nairobi — Kenya's dominance in sport remains largely unchallenged in eastern Africa. The country's secondary school students, competing in last week's Brookside East Africa Schools Games in Nakuru, proved just that.

In the 1960's the Kenyan excellence in athletics was created by a single Kenyan secondary school and this led to so many famous Olympic Games successes.

Matt and his passion for Africa want to help change this. Why can't we help St Zoe's children in Uganda to become top sports men and women?

So we are going to try. Matt said; When we pulled up at the school pupils were playing volleyball, netball and football. During the two days at St Zoe's myself and Phil Hayward coached all boys and girls at the school using their new equipment. Basketball, netball, athletics, football, volleyball were all played as part of a round robin where pupils had the chance to be coached and compete in games.Matthew Houghton with Ugandan Children

Before any coaching all the pupils at St Zoe's were presented with their premier league football kits donated from primary schools in Merseyside & Cheshire. This part of the project plays a massive part during the trip to build confidence and raise hope in the children, as every pupil has their own dreams when they put on the shirt whether it is at school or in their local village. The 'T' Shirt is a talking point of happiness.

The need for structured coaching on a regular basis at St Zoe's is essential due to the number of pupils, the enthusiasm, work ethic and talent the pupils possess,   which can be developed with the correct coaching.

Spectators cheer during a game of netballWe all feel St Zoe's has massive potential to produce talented sportsmen and women in the future that can go on to great achievements in the sports industry. The talented sports boys and girls at the school must be used as positive role models as so the pupils can idolize the pupils and look up to them at school. With the right coaching from a young age, the pupils can develop their skills and with the support the St Zoe's Sport School of Excellence can offer.

The pupils at St Zoe's have been presented with football shirts from football teams in England by the primary schools in Merseyside and Cheshire. This part of the project gives the pupils encouragement and aspiration that one day they could play football in England. The recording and evaluating of activities is key and the fact the pupils will develop a competitive edge in competing in sports against other schools is massive to their short and long term development.

The drive and energy at the school from the children is there to see, with help from HQ Coaching, HUGS and the staff at St Zoe's, the schools sports will now develop further. Each pupil will develop both physically and personally through the integration of the sports programme and hopefully will develop sport as a whole within Uganda and Africa.

The London Olympics 2012

Congratulations to Stephen Kiprotich who won a Gold Medal in the marathon race. A new Hero for Uganda.