The Arsenal/Lions Football Tournament
To conclude our coaching in Kanungu, we held a football tournament. We named it after the Lions Club charity in recognition of the money they had donated to Jesper. This had allowed us to buy equipment at the start of our trip, as well as an authentic looking mini copy of the world cup trophy.
Thursday and Friday evenings saw the group stages take place. The victors on Thursday were Kazuru, aided by an amazing penalty save by their goalkeeper. On Friday they were joined in Saturday’s final by Rushebeya.
The start of the final was held up as we realised that both teams had people in their team who were not pupils at the school. As I’ve said elsewhere, it’s sometimes difficult to spot because the school years contain a wide range of ages, so for example a 20 year old could still be at primary school.
There were several faces we didn’t recognise but we knew something was really amiss when we saw one of the teachers (admittedly one of the younger ones!) lining up in a kit. We told the teams how disappointed we were, how unfair it was on the children who had got their schools into the final but were now missing out, and how playing fairly was much more important than winning. After the ringers had been weeded out, they exchanged kits with the people who should have been wearing them in the first place and the match could get underway.
The first half was a close affair, with Kazuru having the better of the chances. Early in the second half, Rushebeya took the lead but Kazuru continued to battle on. Unfortunately, in the last few minutes their legs tired and they conceded two more goals to give the scoreline a slightly unflattering look, but nevertheless Rushebeya thoroughly deserved their victory. Presentation of the Lions/world cup trophy followed, met by cheers of delight and wild celebrations from the winning team and its supporters.
Posted on May 2, 2012, in 5. Arsenal/Lions Tournament and tagged Arsenal coaches in Africa, Arsenal coaches in Uganda, Arsenal in Africa, Arsenal in the Community, Arsenal in Uganda, football coaching in Africa, football coaching in Uganda, football tournament Uganda, Kazuru, Lions Club, Rushebeya. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.