The 10th edition of East Africa Secondary Schools Ball Games EASSBG will be held in Mbarara, Uganda from August 26th to September 4th.More than 120 teams from the seven countries across the region will be taking part.
The games which will be staged in Uganda has more than 2,000 participants. Kenya has about 609 players and will be defending both basketball and hockey titles, boy’s handball and rugby. The championship received a sponsorship boost of Ksh22 million from Brookside Dairy.
Other countries who will be participanting are the host country Uganda (678 participants),Tanzania (378 participants), Southern Sudan (320 participants) who is participating for the fourth year running having joined the league in 2008, Rwanda (290 participants), Burundi (220 participants) and Zanzibar with 180 participants respectively.
Brookside, the main sponsors of the annual even have made tremendous improvements to their previous sponsorship deal. The best teams in this years event will get a double who is the main sponsors of the championship not only doubled their financial support but also doubled the number of slots for best footballers who will be taken to the Kenya Premier League Club, Thika United for trials from five to 10.
Brookside have so far linked more than 50 players to the club with Gor Mahia’s Hadji Mwachoki and Dennis Odhiambo of Pretoria University, South Africa being some of the product of Brookside Games who passed through Thika United. Six of the players will be incorporated into the team and if they are still in school,get full sponsorship to complete their education.
In the other two disciplines, four of the best players (two from each discipline) will sponsor to undertake undergraduate studies at different universities working with the firm on this initiative. Last year, Dennis Bugere from Uganda got the sponsorship which saw him turn up for United this year. Bugere is a former student of St. Mary’s Kitende in Kampala.
Brookside Marketing Manager Peter Wesonga said the money will be used to cater for general organization of the games including accommodation, transport and kitting of all the participating teams. “The money will also go towards improving the infrastructure of the hosting venues which have remained a major concern for us as a company,” he said.
Kenya’s Director of Quality Assurance-Ministry of Education, Enos Oyaya urged Kenya delegation to observe discipline during the games.“These are School games; you have to behave like a student, like a teacher and like a civil servant like me during the championship in Uganda. Discipline is paramount in all areas,”
EASSG was started ten years ago with the aim of uniting and also nurturing the regional young talent at an early age with only Uganda and Kenya taking part in the first edition. Brookside is sponsoring the games for the sixth year running. Kenyan delegation will be leaving for Uganda on August 21.