Saturday gave us our first insight into a Ugandan school sports tournament and how passionately the pupils participate in such events. Volunteer Uganda hosted a netball tournament for ten schools, most of which had volunteer teachers. The few that didn’t were assigned one of Jesper, Robbie and I as their token mzungu supporter! I was the cheerleader for a school called Rushebeya, which was awkward as not only was I unfamiliar with any of the children, they also played against schools and kids who I had worked with and had got to know.
The tournament was won by the school Bea and Joe were volunteering at, Karuhinda. They destroyed every team they came across, Kanungu district’s primary school netball version of the Arsenal Invincibles of 2004. It was great to see Joe celebrating so fervently with his victorious team as they danced and sung their way down the road with the trophy.
Rushebeya performed admirably though, so I ran to town and bought all the players a little snack, the range of which is rather limited in rural south-west Uganda in comparison with what we’re used to gorging on back in the UK. I found little packets of biscuits, which were devoured eagerly by the appreciative children. Rather frustratingly however, their teachers moaned that I had not also provided drinks. I found this quite ungrateful considering I had no connection with the school; not only were the children pleased with my donation, but Volunteer Uganda had supplied bottles of water in plentiful supply for everyone anyway.
*UPDATE* This theme of the kids showing gratitude unlike their teachers was one that would be repeated the next time we arranged a tournament!
Here’s a video of Jesper celebrating and then invading the court at the final whistle of one of his school’s games!